Remember those Mike and Mike t-shirts?
The 2000s in Trail Blazers history – there’s a lot to reminisce about in that fun-filled decade.
These are just a few of the names that come to mind when thinking about the decade that was the 2000s in Rip City.
But, it's hard to think about those ten years, though, without one more: Former Trail Blazers play by play announcer Mike Barrett.
On Sunday night, as the Trail Blazers hosted the Detroit Pistons, the Blazers celebrated the 2000s.
There stood Barrett, along with Stoudamire and Outlaw, being introduced at center court during the first timeout of the first quarter.
It’s hard to say who had a bigger ovation.
One thing is for sure: Trail Blazers fans were happy to welcome back their former players, but also very excited to see the former television play-by-play announcer.
Barrett and his partner, Mike Rice, were both let go from their positions after the 2015-2016 season. While the news came as a surprise, Barrett said previously he doesn't harness any anger.
"There was never bitterness about it," Barrett said on The Bridge Podcast last summer. "I was honored to have done it.”
Now the Managing Director for the Portland Diamond Project, Barrett was honored to represent the 2000s and the Trail Blazers Sunday night.
"It’s been great," Barrett said of his return to Moda Center. "I think we take for granted in this business sometimes the connectivity and the emotion and the relationship you have with fans. To hear those stories — and then everybody wants to tell you about their favorite call, their favorite game, their favorite team. That part’s been really neat. I probably underestimated how cool that would be."
As fans came up to him on the concourse before the game, Barrett said he also couldn’t help but reminisce about the 2000s.
There was one season that really stood out to him during his 2003-2016 TV gig with the Blazers.
“Travis Outlaw is here and the team in ’07 that had the 13 game winning streak, if you weren’t there, people don’t understand how crazy that was. That team was so young and had drafted Greg Oden and thought they were gonna make the next step, and this team that almost didn’t know what it was doing -- wins thirteen in a row, and I mentioned Travis because he put the cap on win No. 13 in a row. I still remember that,” Barrett said.
From Dec. 3rd through Dec. 30th that 2007-2008 team didn’t lose a game.
That team finished with a .500 record. It was during LaMarcus Aldridge and Brandon Roy’s second season, along with Travis Outlaw, who averaged 13.3 points and 4.6 rebounds that season.
Barrett has always been known for his professionalism along with the wittiness of many great calls. But for MB, the Trail Blazers were, and still are, much more than a job.
The Trail Blazers are his team and they always will be.
I came to my first game here in about 1973 with my dad. My dad knew Jack Ramsay and then went on to know Rick Adelman and so I was fortunate to get some time at training camp and around some of the coaches. It goes without saying -- it’s my team and it runs deep with me with these guys. That’s the biggest part of being back and celebrating the 50 years. -- Mike Barrett
When Barrett was about to walk off the court after being honored during the first timeout of Sunday’s game, Blazers Head Coach Terry Stotts stopped Barrett to give him a big hug. That hug was followed by a hug from Damian Lillard.
Both the current team and longtime fans alike showered Barrett with love, like they were seeing an old friend after a long absence.
And, like Trail Blazers President Chris McGowan tweeted out about the 2000s celebration –it’s always fun welcoming back players and members of the organization.
Blazer MB will always be part of Rip City.