Legendary Golden State Warriors center, Hall of Famer Nate Thurmond has died at age 74, following his battle with leukemia.
Thurmond was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 1985. His number 42 is retired by both the Warriors and the Cavaliers.
Following Thurmond’s passing, the Golden State Warriors, the NBA and the NBRPA (National Basketball Retired Players Association) released their condolences.
“The toughest center for me to play against is Nate Thurmond,” Kareem Abdul-Jabbar once said, according to NY Times.
“He played with unbelievable intensity and was simply a man among boys on most nights, especially on the defensive end,” Jerry West, the Hall of Fame guard for the Los Angeles Lakers said.
“Night in and night out you can depend on him doing his job,” his Warriors teammate Walt Hazzard was quoted by NBA.com as having said. “His statistics aren’t overwhelming, but his presence on the court is unbelievable. As for blocking shots, I’ve seen guys get offensive rebounds and then go back 15 feet to make sure they can get a shot off. They know Nate is there.”
Thurmond was a 7-time NBA All-Star and was selected to NBA All-Defensive team 5 times.
During his eleven seasons with the Warriors, Thurmond averaged 17.4 points and 16.9 rebounds a game. Thurmond set an NBA milestone in 1974 when he became the first player to record an official quadruple double with points, rebounds, assists and blocks. He also holds the NBA regular season record for rebounds in a quarter with 18.
Thurmond played 15 seasons in the NBA, with San Francisco (Golden State) Warriors, Chicago Bulls and Cleveland Cavaliers.
Thurmond averaged career high 21.9 ppg in 1969-1970 and career high in rebounds (22 rpg) during the 1967-68 season. In the mid-’60s, Thurmond hauled down 42 rebounds against the Detroit Pistons, the best single-game rebounding effort of his career.
He holds career averages of 15 ppg, 15 rpg in 37.2 mpg, appearing in 964 NBA regular season games. Thurmond’s number 42 is retired by both the Golden State Warriors and the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Thurmond was a longtime community relations ambassador for the Warriors and had owned a barbecue restaurant in San Francisco, where he lived.
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