2001 NBA Finals

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A Season of Turmoil
A chronology of the Portland Trail Blazers' 2000-01 campaign
  • Oct. 31: The season opens with a 96-86 home loss to the defending champion Lakers. Co-captain Scottie Pippen sprains his left ankle seven minutes into the game.

  • Dec. 19: Shawn Kemp misses practice and a team flight to Dallas, saying he overslept. He blames his new diet for his weariness.

  • Dec. 23: A day after the team loses to Denver by 20 points, the players and coach Mike Dunleavy hash out their differences. The players say Dunleavy micromanages them on the court, and he says they're not hustling on defense. Dunleavy calls fewer plays, and the Blazers win their next 10 games.

  • Dec. 26: Dale Davis, upset about playing only five minutes against the Lakers on Christmas Day, disappears to Las Vegas and skips a team practice in Salt Lake City. He later reconciles with Dunleavy.

  • Dec. 29: Steve Smith has the flu, and Bonzi Wells starts at shooting guard in a home game against Vancouver. It's the first of 46 straight starts for Wells, prompting Smith to grumble.

  • Jan. 22: The Blazers set a franchise record for fewest points in a game in an 84-58 loss in Cleveland. A few players and an assistant coach also scuffle with fans near the bench.

  • Jan. 31: Detlef Schrempf comes out of retirement after Pippen undergoes elbow surgery. Some teammates resent that Schrempf is allowed to skip some practices to visit his family in Seattle.

  • Feb. 1: After being ejected from a home victory over Phoenix, Rasheed Wallace throws a towel that grazes the cheek of referee Gary Benson. Wallace, who had to be restrained by teammates, is suspended two games by the NBA and fined $10,000, but he still travels to Washington, D.C., as the team's only representative in the All-Star Game.

  • March 6: Rod Strickland, who had three drunken-driving arrests while with Washington, signs with the Blazers after being waived by the Wizards. It's Strickland's second tour of duty with the Blazers; he feuded with former coach P.J. Carlesimo during the mid-1990s.

  • March 6: Wallace spoils Clyde Drexler Night by getting ejected, and the team endures a humiliating home defeat to Vancouver. They lose again to the Grizzlies, on the road, three
    nights later.

  • April 1: Wallace breaks his own NBA record for technical fouls in a season, picking up his 39th and 40th during the third quarter of a close game against Minnesota. The Blazers lose by four.

  • April 2: Strickland misses practice and does not accompany the team to Denver to take care of "personal business." He flies to Washington to plead guilty to a drunken-driving charge from Jan. 7, when he was with the Wizards. A judge approves his request to serve a 10-day jail term after the season.

  • April 3: Because of his behavior against the Timberwolves, Wallace is suspended for one game by Dunleavy, who had previously warned the player he would be punished if he got ejected again. Strickland is suspended for one game by the league for his DUI conviction. The Blazers lose to the Nuggets that night.

  • April 4: The team announces that Kemp has left the team for "personal reasons."

  • April 6: The Blazers confirm that Kemp has entered in the league's substance-abuse treatment program for cocaine. Under the league's collective-bargaining agreement with the players, Kemp receives his full $11.7 million salary because he entered the program voluntarily.

  • April 6: Bonzi Wells twists his left knee and crashes to the floor during a fast break against Golden State. Three days later the team reveals that Wells has a torn ACL in his knee and will need months to recover.

  • April 15: Angry at center Arvydas Sabonis for accidentally hitting him in the face in a game against the Lakers, Rasheed Wallace curses at his teammate and throws a towel in his face.

  • April 16: Dunleavy suspends Wallace for the season finale against San Antonio. The Blazers lose 99-93, their sixth straight defeat to playoff-bound teams from the West.

  • April 29: With a 99-86 loss at the Rose Garden, the Blazers are swept out of the first round at the hands of the Lakers. 


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