Summary: What former NBA players, coaches and managers died in 2013?

nba-rim2013 saw new players enter the NBA, while others have retired. The year also took some great players, managers and coaches from us, but they will never be forgotten.

This article, compiled by EXNBA lists those members of NBA family that have died due to various reasons in 2013.

In February of 2013, LA Lakers owner Jerry Buss died at the age of 80. He had been in hospital for treatment of unknown form of cancer but the immediate cause of death was kidney failure. Buss made the NBA Finals 16 times during his nearly 34 years in charge, winning 10 titles between 1980 and 2010. More details via this link.

Ray Williams, a former NY Knick, died of colon cancer at the age of 58 in March of 2013. He also played for Boston, Atlanta and San Antonio before being traded to the Nets, where he finished his career after the 1986-87 season. After retirement Williams battled bankruptcy, and at one point was homeless, until his former Boston Celtics teammates helped him. Read more here.

Tom Boerwinkle, an aggressive Chicago Bulls rebounder, who once grabbed 37 rebounds in a game, died in March 2013 at age 67. It was announced that Boerwinkle passed away following a lengthy illness. He had been battling myelodysplastic syndromes, a form of leukemia. Read full story here.

In April of 2013, the NBA lost Marty Blake, a a basketball trailblazer, promoter, ambassador, former scout and general manager. Blake became general manager of an NBA team at the age of 27 in 1954, and died April 7, at the age of 86 in suburban Atlanta. More on Blake in this article.

Former LA Lakers champion, 72-year old Flynn Robinson died in May of 2013, after a two-year fight with cancer. Robinson averaged 9.9 points and 2.2 assists in 64 games in 1971-72, helping the Lakers win an NBA-record 33 consecutive games and the franchise’s first title in Los Angeles. More on the story here.

Oscar “Ossie” Schectman, the former New York Knicks guard who scored the first basket in NBA history nearly seven decades ago, died in July 2013. He was 94. Schectman scored the opening basket of a game in what was then known as the BAA on Nov. 1, 1946 for the Knicks against the Toronto Huskies, a layup after cutting down the centre of the lane. More on this story via this link.

Roy Rubin, the coach of one of the most memorable teams in NBA history, died of cancer on Aug. 5 at the age of 87. Rubin was the head coach of the 1972-73 Philadelphia 76ers, who had the worst NBA record for that time – 9 losses in 82 games. More on Rubin here.

Devin Gray, the Baltimore Sun’s 1991 High School Basketball Player of the Year from St. Frances Academy who later starred at Clemson, died in August 2013, after suffering a heart attack, according to a family member. He was 41. Read more on Gray here.

Another NY Knicks player, 65-year old Dean Meminger, the former Marquette guard who played a reserve role for the Knicks’ 1973 NBA championship team, was found dead in a Manhattan hotel room in August of 2013. More on the story via this link.

Former NBA player Jack “Dutch” Garfinkel passed away on August 14, 2013, at the age of 94. Garfinkel, who is most notably known for his innovation of the no-look pass, spent three years playing professional basketball for the Boston Celtics during the 1940s. Read more in this article.

On September 3, 2013, former NBA player Don “Monk” Meineke passed away at the age of 82 due to a lengthy illness. He was the NBA’s first ever Rookie of the Year Award winner during the 1953 season while playing for the Fort Wayne Pistons. During his rookie season, Meineke led the NBA in personal fouls and disqualifications. His 26 disqualifications during his rookie season still is a NBA single-season record. Read full article here.

Former NBA center Joe C. Meriweather died in October of 2013, in Columbus, Georgia, aged 59. The 6-foot-10 (2.08-meter) Meriweather was the 11th pick in the 1975 NBA draft out of Southern Illinois University and is in its hall of fame. The 10-year NBA veteran played for the Houston Rockets, the Atlanta Hawks, the New Orleans Jazz, the New York Knicks and the Kansas City Kings. He also had played in Italy and Spain. Read full story via this link.

Legendary NBA player and coach Bill Sharman passed away at age 87 on October 25, 2013. Sharman was a second round draft pick of the Washington Capitals in 1950. Renowned for his shooting ability, Sharman became the first NBA player to have a field-goal percentage above .400 for a season. He is ranked as one of the NBA’s top free-throw shooters of all-time, and has appeared in 8 NBA All-Star games. After his playing days were over, Sharman led the LA Lakers to their first NBA championship in 1971. More on Sharman here.

On November 2, 2013, NBA lost former center Walt Bellamy, a member of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, who passed away at age 74. Bellamy, a 4-time NBA All-Star, averaged 31.6 ppg and 19 rpg in his rookie season. More on Bellamy here.

Vern Mikkelsen, a Hall of Famer, former LA Lakers forward, died on November 21, 2013, at the age of 85. a 6-time NBA All-Star, Mikkelsen was known for his hard-nosed defense, and one of league’s first true power forwards. He helped the Minneapolis Lakers to win 4 NBA titles in the 1950?s (1950, 1952, 1953, 1954). More on Mikkelsen in this article.

Indiana Pacers co-founder, Chuck DeVoe has died aged 83 on Dec. 31. DeVoe was one of a group of local businessmen who founded the team in 1967. The Pacers won three ABA championships before joining the NBA in 1976. DeVoe was team president from 1968-74 and board chairman from 1974-75. Read full article here.

And right before New Year in Dec. 2013, another NBA player, Conrad W. “Connie” Dierking died at the age of 77. Dierking had been a 1958 first round pick of the Syracuse Nationals. He also played for the Philadelphia 76ers and San Francisco Warriors over more than a decade in the NBA. More details here.

On behalf of EXNBA website, we express our condolences to the families of the NBA family members, who have passed away. We’re sorry if someone was not mentioned in this article.


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