Nate Thurmond, a Hall of Fame center and longtime Golden State Warrior, died Saturday after a short battle with leukemia. He was 74.
The Golden State Warriors announced the death of one of the team’s most iconic players less than a month after they lost the NBA championship to the Cleveland Cavaliers in seven games. Both franchises previously retired the Akron, Ohio native’s No. 42 and he is an iconic figure in both cities.
Thurmond played 11 of his 14 seasons with the Warriors and retired after the 1976-1977 season, one year after leading the “Miracle” Cavaliers to an improbable trip to the NBA finals.
“Without a doubt, he is one of the most beloved figures to ever wear a Warriors uniform,” Golden State owner Joe Lacob said.
The 6-11 Thurmond was voted as one of the best 50 players in NBA history and is considered among the most-dominating centers in the game.
Thurmond’s play and numbers weren’t flashy, but he earned the respect of his peers and knowledgeable basketball fans for his consistency, defense and strength.
“Looking back, he was as ferocious as any player in the history of the game on the court, but one of the kindest and nicest souls in his everyday life,” said former teammate Al Attles.
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