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Stu Inman

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Subject: History of the Portland Trail Blazers, Steve Patterson (sports executive), Harry Glickman, Jack McCloskey, Herman Sarkowsky
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Stu Inman

Stu Inman (August 2, 1926 – January 30, 2007) was an American basketball player, coach and executive. He was selected in the sixth round of the 1950 NBA Draft from San Jose State University by the Chicago Stags; however, he did not play in the NBA.

In 1970, Inman was one of several people who started the expansion Portland Trail Blazers NBA franchise, and initially served as chief scout. He also served as interim coach at the end of the 1971–72 season, after Rolland Todd was fired midway through the season. Inman played a significant role in the building of Portland Trail Blazers' 1976–77 NBA championship team.

He drafted Bill Walton, Geoff Petrie, Larry Steele, Lloyd Neal, Lionel Hollins, Bobby Gross, Wally Walker and Johnny Davis, signed Dave Twardzik after the American Basketball Association folded, and selected Maurice Lucas in the ABA dispersal draft. Inman later served as the team's general manager from 1981 through 1986.

Inman is probably best known for being the GM who selected oft-injured Kentucky center Sam Bowie with the number two selection overall in the 1984 NBA Draft, one spot ahead of the Chicago Bulls who selected Michael Jordan with the number three selection overall. Bob Knight, who coached Jordan on the 1984 Summer Olympics team, was good friends with Inman. He called Inman after holding practice with the team prior to the Olympics and bragged about Jordan, calling him the greatest player he had ever seen. He told Inman that he had to pick Jordan in the draft. Inman, who had guards Clyde Drexler and Jim Paxson already on the team, told Knight the team needed a center. Knight famously responded "then play Jordan at center!"

Inman also served in the front office of the Milwaukee Bucks and the Miami Heat. He later served as an assistant coach at Lake Oswego High School.

Inman died in Lake Oswego, Oregon of a heart attack, aged 80.


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