Former NBA stalwart Anthony Mason has sadly passed away, he was just 48 years old. Best known for his time with the New York Knicks, the forward enjoyed a 13-year career at the pinnacle of the sport and also played for numerous other franchises.
A Knicks spokesman reported that Anthony Mason had died early Saturday morning after being diagnosed with congestive heart failure a few weeks ago. Mason’s son released a statement that reads:
“First I want to thank all those who offered prayers and well-wishes for my Father, our family really appreciates it,” his son, Anthony Mason Jr., said Saturday. “Overnight, New York City and the world lost a legend, a friend, a brother … but more than anything our father, Anthony Mason. As you all would expect our father — Big Mase — put up an incredible fight, dealing with a severe heart issue. I’m wishing this was something else I was writing, but Pops we’ve got to let you know we love you and know you’ll always be with us.”
The Knicks honoured their passed veteran with a moment of silence before the teams’ 103-98 victory over the Toronto Raptors. Before heading to the NBA, Mason played in Europe, playing for Efes Istanbul, but it was in the USA where his Basketball career would be carved. He spent time at the New Jersey Nets before moving to the New York Knicks in 1991.
His five season stint in Madison Square Garden comprised 405 games and included a NBA Finals appearance in 1994. His final 1995-1996 season with the Knicks proved to be his best as he finished with averages of 14.6 points, 9.3 rebounds, and 4.4 assists through his 82 games that season. He continued his ascension after moving to the Charlotte Hornets in 1996 and in his first season offered double-double averages of 16.2 points and 11.4 rebounds per game. Another double-double season followed before he would leave the Hornets in 2000.
In the twilight of his career, Anthony Mason played for the Miami Heat and the Milwaukee Bucks. A family statement upon his death read:
“We would like to thank everyone for their heartfelt thoughts and strong prayers,” the statement said. “Anthony felt each and every one. He fought like a warrior to the very end. Please keep your prayers and thoughts with us through this very hard time — it is a great loss for us. We ask for our privacy during this time.”