Cancer kills another NBA legend

dolph schayesThe NBA family has lost another member, this time a Hall of Fame forward Dolph Schayes. He passed away at age 87.

Schayes’ son, Danny Schayes, also a former NBA player, said his father died of cancer, NY Times reported.

Back in his day, Schayes was among NBA’s best players, and was the first one to score 15,000 points. Having played 16 seasons in the NBA, Schayes was known for his two-handed set shots at a time when jump-shooting came into vogue. He was also a superb freethrow shooter, averaging 84% from the line for career.

The NBA Encyclopedia called Schayes “a bridge between the old game and the new one.”

Schayes led the NBA in rebounds in the 1950-51 season. He led the Nationals to the only NBA championship in their history in 1955, when they defeated the Fort Wayne Pistons in a seven-game final. That was also the first season for the 24-second shot clock, which had been proposed by the Nationals’ owner, Danny Biasone.

Schayes was a 12-time All-Star, never missed a game between February 1952 and December 1961, and led the Nationals to the championship in 1955. Schayes played a total of 996 NBA games, averaging 18.5 ppg.

After his playing days were over, Schayes switched to coaching, and was named the NBA Coach of the Year in 1966 for taking the Philadelphia 76ers, the successor to the Syracuse franchise, to a 55-25 regular-season record and the Eastern Division title.

Schayes was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 1973 and was named among the top NBA players when the league celebrated its 25th and 50th anniversaries.

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