“In the short term, we’d have been way better off with McAdoo, a Hall-of-Famer,” (Portland executive VP) Harry Glickman said. “In the long term, we never would have gotten Walton, and we might not have won a championship (in 1976-77). Funny how things work out sometimes.”
Gumbel read a local newspaper account at the time, which called Martin “an emotional basket case over his own inability to prove his worth as the No. 1 draft choice.”
Martin says he rejected several offers to play professionally in Europe. He returned to Portland after his release by the Sonics, told Gumbel his failure in the NBA “took away a lot of the self-esteem I had. I had the makings of an ulcer. I’d go home crying sometimes. Here I am, a grown man, crying.”
He was at his Portland home drinking the night the Blazers clinched the NBA title with a Game-6 victory over Philadelphia at the Coliseum.
“I was crushed,” Martin told Gumbel. “Oh boy, that hurt.”
Though Eggers takes pains to point out (as does the HBO piece) that Martin has long since fashioned a successful career with United Parcel Service, he also eager to point out that while “Blazer fans remember Sam Bowie’s selection over Michael Jordan in 1984 with unbridled disdain, for historical perspective, Martin over Bob McAdoo was probably worse.”