The San Francisco Chronicle (Tom Fitzgerald) reports: In 1974, general manager Dick Vertlieb pulled off a controversial trade that immediately helped bring the Warriors their only NBA championship since moving west in 1962. He dealt future Hall of Fame center Nate Thurmond to Chicago for center Clifford Ray and $500,000. Ray teamed with Rick Barry to help the Warriors beat Ray’s former team, the Bulls, in the Western Conference finals before sweeping the Washington Bullets in the NBA Finals. Mr. Vertlieb, a passionate, eccentric club executive who left an even bigger mark on the sports landscape in Seattle, died Dec. 5 in Las Vegas after a long bout of stomach cancer. He was 78. He helped found the Portland Trail Blazers and the Seattle SuperSonics. As the Sonics’ first general manager, he tried to negotiate a sale of the Warriors to a group of investors from the Northwest. He failed, but Warriors owner Franklin Mieuli was so impressed that he hired Mr. Vertlieb as GM.