Former New York Knicks fan favorite Anthony Mason has died at the age of 48. He was attempting to recover from multiple heart surgeries after experiencing congestive heart failure on February 11th.
Mason helped the Knicks make it to the 1994 NBA Finals where they lost to the Houston Rockets in seven games. He was well known for his physical style of play and his defense, he often called himself the “Lock-Smith.” Not to mention, the messages he had engraved into his hair.
Some of the more memorable messages on Twitter include:
SLAM Magazine :”NYC embraced him because we could relate to him. Anthony Mason was real and we recognized his real.”
Doc Rivers: “The passing of Anthony Mason is so sad. He was a true warrior…”
But, leave it to Riles to sum it up perfectly in a released statement:
“News like this is not only sad, it’s tragic. Anthony Mason was a very young young man with a great family and friends. To lose him so quickly during his journey, especially to us that knew him, hurts. We had a great season in Miami experiencing Anthony as an All Star with the Heat, and I also had the privilege of coaching him for four years in New York, where he helped take us to the brink of a Championship. There were so many great moments we shared that I will never forget. Our prayers and sympathies are with him and his family. May God bless his soul.”
He played for six teams in his 13 year career, but was best remembered during his five year stint in the Big Apple where he quickly became a fan favorite as the enforcer type next to Patrick Ewing and played his special brand of defense.
He averaged just under 11 points per game and eight rebounds in 882 games. Mason averaged 9.9 points and 7.7 rebounds during his 395 games in New York, he won the Sixth Man of the Year Award in 1994-1995 with the Knicks.
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