PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — When the Trail Blazers came into existence in 1970, Bill Schonely was there. Now, as the 2022 season wraps up, the legendary broadcaster is officially retiring from the organization.

The Moda Center crowd got one last chance to see him in a halftime ceremony during the Blazers season-ender against the Utah Jazz.

Standing at a podium at center court after luminaries including Sen. Ron Wyden showered him with praise, Schonely was characteristically humble and concise.

“I have done many events like this, but always for somebody else. To have it happen for me — thank you very much,” he told the crowd to a standing ovation.

Before the game, Schonely met the media in a brief press conference.

“I was with the organization when the baby was born, if you will,” he said. “Back in 1970 I never dreamed I would last this long, coming up to 93. I’ve seen them all. Been through them all, each and every year. I love to broadcast the games. Now it’s time for me to turn it over to other people.”

Schonely is responsible for coining the phrase “Rip City,” which he ad-libbed during a playoff game when 3-pointers swished through the net for the Blazers.

As he wound down his remarks to the crowd, Bill Schonely encouraged them to all say one thing: “Rip City!”

Blazers broadcasting legend Bill Schonely embraces the crowd at his retirement ceremony at Moda Center, April 10, 2022 (KOIN)