NBA legend Nate Thurmond died on Saturday. He was 74. Now sports stars and teams are paying tribute to the late basketball player.
Thurmond was widely considered one of the best basketball players of all time. He spent most of his career with the Golden State Warriors, but the Ohio native finished his 14 seasons in the NBA with the Cleveland Cavaliers. Now the news of his death, which follows a short battle with leukemia, is hitting LeBron James particularly hard.
He tweeted, “Damn man!!! R.I.P Akron’s own Nate Thurmond. Knowing u played in the same rec league as me growing up gave me hope of making it out! Thanks!” Magic Johnson also posted, “Rest In Peace to Nate Thurmond, one of the best that’s ever played in the NBA. My prayers and best wishes go out to his family.” And Warriors player Andre Iguodala simply said, “RIP Nate Thurmond.”
“RIP Nate Thurmond. One of the best ever to play in the NBA,” wrote Festus Ezeli. Basketball fan Chuck D of Public Enemy commented, “Before @KingJames AKRON always reminded me of Mr Nate Thurmond driving through there… RIP.”
In a statement, Warriors owner Joe Lacob says, “We’ve lost one of the most iconic figures in the history of not only our organization, but the NBA in general, with the passing of Nate Thurmond. Nate represented this franchise with class, dignity and humility as both a player and community relations ambassador for over 40 years. Without a doubt, he is one of the most beloved figures to ever wear a Warriors uniform and both a Hall of Fame player and Hall of Fame person, hence his #42 jersey hanging from the rafters at Oracle Arena.”
He adds, “On behalf of the entire Warriors organization, our thoughts and prayers go out to his entire family, including his wife, Marci. We’ll miss his presence in his customary seats at our games next season, but his legacy will live forever.” And for the Cavs, former teammate and current director of alumni relations Campy Russell says, “We are very saddened by the loss of Nate Thurmond. Nate’s jersey hangs in the rafters at The Q because of the unselfish way the Akron native and Hall of Famer approached the game we all love, the teammate that he was, his profound impact on one of the most special seasons in Cavaliers history, and the way that all translated on and off the court to reflect the ‘All for One. One for All.’ code.”
The statement continues, “Just as Nate always held the Miracle team, the Coliseum crowds and his local roots dear to him, the Cavaliers franchise will always love and respect him as a true Cavalier legend. We extend our deepest condolences to Nate’s wife, Marci, and their family during this difficult time.”
Thurmond’s death comes just a few weeks after James and the Cavaliers beat Iguodala and the Warriors in the NBA finals. Thurmond was never on a championship-winning team, but was a seven-time NBA all-star. Gossip Cop offers condolences to his loved ones.
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