Looking for a good dose of sadness on this dreary Monday? Look no further than a few of the great tributes to Maurice Lucas that are popping up online. Charles P. Pierce has this great piece, all about meeting Lucas in the dorms of Marquette, and listening to jazz fusion band the Weather Report.
Not long after I moved in, I found myself intrigued by the music coming out from under the door of the room next to mine — music which I now know to have been "Eurydice," the closing track from Weather Report's astounding debut album. (Mmmmmm. Wayne Shorter!) As I was listening, an extremely large man came out of the room and introduced himself. "Pretty cool, isn't it?' he said.
And that was how I met Maurice Lucas.
For the next couple of years, we talked about music, at least as much as Luke talked to anyone, him being what you call your campus celebrity and all during the glory days of Warrior basketball and the high-sun period of Al McGuire Era. Whatever I know about any jazz recorded after the big band records to which my father listened — Mmmmmmm. Basie! — I learned from Luke, with whom I don't believe I ever exchanged four words about basketball.
Pierce also makes the point that there was more to Lucas than the "The Enforcer" style of play, and he laid the groundwork for players like Karl Malone. Meanwhile the Blazers have various friends and teammates talking about the man, plus a great photo gallery of him in action on the court.
If the photos don't cut it, head down to the Clinton Street Theater to see a rare screening of Fast Break, the documentary on the world champion 1977 Blazers team. The film is at 9pm on November 1st, 2nd & 4th, and at 7pm on the 3rd.
A public funeral service for Lucas will be held at noon on Monday, November 8 at Memorial Coliseum. Doors open at 11am.