The year 2015 has not started well for the NBA family, as the league lost five players in just the last several months.
Among them are All-Stars, troubled talents, and even a Hall of Famer.
Let’s review who they were, what they brought to the game, and what is their legacy.
RAY LUMPP (1923-2915)
Ray Lumpp, a World War II veteran, died at age 91. He was a 1948 Olympic guard, who played 214 games for the NY Knicks between 1949-53. Lumpp was part of Knicks teams that lost to Minneapolis in the 1951 and 1952 NBA Finals. He averaged 7.1 points in 231 games in five seasons in the NBA with New York and Baltimore. More information here.
ROY TARPLEY (1964 – 2015)
Roy Tarpley, a talented but troubled former NBA center died on Jan. 9 at age 50. Tarpley was suspended several times for drug and alcohol abuse, and was eventually banned from the NBA in 1995. He played 6 years in the league, appearing in 280 games, averaging 12.6 ppg, 10 rpg and 1.2 bpg. Read more on Tarpley here.
JEROME KERSEY (1962 – 2015)
In February, the NBA world was stunned to learn about the passing of long-time NBA player, ex-TrailBlazer, Jerome Kersey. Kersey spent his prime years with Portland, and won an NBA title with San Antonio Spurs. He appeared in total of 1153 NBA games (started in 571), averaging 10.3 ppg, 5.5 rpg in 24.4 mpg. Additional information here.
EARL LLOYD (1928-2015)
Also in February, the first black player to ever play in the NBA, Earl Lloyd passed away as well, at age 86. Lloyd played for Washington Capitols in 1950-51, and underwent military service after the season. He came back in the 1952-53, and helped Rochester Royals win a championship with in 1954-55. Lloyd finished his career with the Detroit Pistons. After retiring, Lloyd became the first black assistant coach in NBA history, joining the Pistons’ staff in 1968. In 2003, Lloyd entered the Basketball Hall of Fame. He scored a total of 4682 points in the NBA, appearing in 560 games, averaging 8.4 ppg and 6.4 rpg.
ANTHONY MASON (1966 – 2015)
And on February 28, one of the best NBA athletes, a fan favorite in New York, forward Anthony Mason died, following multiple heart surgeries and a massive heart attack. Mason spent a few days in intensive care, but eventually didn’t make it through. A one-time All-Star, the 6-foot-7 defensive stalwart spent 13 seasons in the NBA with New Jersey Nets, Denver Nuggets, NY Knicks, Charlotte Hornets, Miami Heat and Milwaukee Bucks. He won the Sixth Man of the Year for the 1994-95 Knicks. Mason played in 882 NBA games (started in 559), averaging 10.9 ppg, 8.3 rpg. More on Anthony Mason here.
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