Anthony Mason (basketball)

Anthony Mason
Personal information
Born (1966-12-14)December 14, 1966
Miami, Florida
Died February 28, 2015(2015-02-28) (aged 48)
Manhattan, New York
Nationality American
Listed height 6 ft 7 in (2.01 m)
Listed weight 250 lb (113 kg)
Career information
High school Springfield Gardens
(Queens, New York)
College Tennessee State (1984–1988)
NBA draft 1988 / Round: 3 / Pick: 53rd overall
Selected by the Portland Trail Blazers
Playing career 1988–2003
Position Power forward
Number 42, 34, 14, 17
Career history
1988–1989 Efes Pilsen
1989–1990 New Jersey Nets
1990–1991 Tulsa Fast Breakers
1990–1991 Denver Nuggets
1991 Marinos de Oriente
1991 Long Island Surf
1991–1996 New York Knicks
1996–2000 Charlotte Hornets
2000–2001 Miami Heat
2001–2003 Milwaukee Bucks
Career highlights and awards
Career NBA statistics
Points 9,656
Rebounds 7,279
Assists 2,963
Stats at Basketball-Reference.com

Anthony George Douglas Mason (December 14, 1966 – February 28, 2015) was an American professional basketball player. In his 13-year career he played with the New Jersey Nets, Denver Nuggets, New York Knicks, Charlotte Hornets, Milwaukee Bucks and Miami Heat of the National Basketball Association. He averaged 10.8 points and 8.3 rebounds in his 13-year NBA career. Mason earned the NBA Sixth Man of the Year Award in 1995 and led the NBA in minutes played in the following two seasons. In 1997, he was named to the All-NBA Third Team and the NBA All-Defensive Second Team. He was selected to the 2001 NBA All-Star Game. Mason was a member of the 1993-1994 New York Knicks team that reached the NBA Finals.

Mason played collegiately for Tennessee State University and also played professionally in Turkey, Venezuela, the Continental Basketball Association (CBA) and the United States Basketball League (USBL).

Basketball career

Early years

Mason attended Tennessee State University and was drafted by the Portland Trail Blazers in the third round of the 1988 NBA draft (53rd pick), but was cut shortly afterwards. He then played for the Efes Pilsen basketball club in Turkey and Marinos de Oriente in Venezuela and had brief NBA stints with the New Jersey Nets and the Denver Nuggets.

In the 1990–1991 season, Mason played 26 games for the CBA's Tulsa Fast Breakers, with whom he averaged 29.9 points and 14.8 rebounds per game in his only season in the league.[1][2]

Also in 1991, Mason played as a power forward for the Long Island Surf of the USBL. In his one season with the Surf, Mason was named to the All-USBL First Team, averaging more 27.8 points and 11.2 rebounds per game, and he set a league record with 28 rebounds in a game. Ed Krinsky, general manager of the Surf, said, "I really believed he could play in the N.B.A. He was a huge guy with backcourt skills". Later that year, Mason was already on the New York Knicks' summer league roster, with Pat Riley as coach.[3][4] In the year 2000, in celebration of the USBL's 15th anniversary, USBL fans voted on the "All-15 Team," a collection of the best USBL players from 1985 to 2000, many of whom went on to become renowned NBA stars, with Mason included among the 15.[5]

NBA success

Mason signed with the New York Knicks in the summer of 1991. Under coach Pat Riley, Mason blossomed in New York, where he became part of a strong frontcourt alongside Patrick Ewing, Charles Oakley and Charles Smith. Mason played for the Knicks until 1996. In 1994, the Knicks reached the NBA Finals for the first time since 1973, but lost in seven games to the Hakeem Olajuwon-led Houston Rockets.

Mason won the NBA Sixth Man of the Year Award in 1995. He led the league in minutes played in 1995–96[6] with 3,457, setting a Knicks team record. In 1996, Mason and Brad Lohaus were traded to the Charlotte Hornets for Larry Johnson.

In the 1996-1997 season, Mason recorded career highs in minutes played (43.1), points (16.2), rebounds (11.4) and assists (5.7). He led the league in minutes. Following the season, he was named to the All-NBA Third Team and to the NBA All-Defensive Second Team. Mason missed the entire 1998–99 season due to a ruptured bicep[7], then averaged 11.6 points and 8.5 rebounds in the 1999-2000 season.

In 2000, Mason was traded to the Miami Heat along with Eddie Jones, Ricky Davis and Dale Ellis for Jamal Mashburn, P. J. Brown, Tim James, Rodney Buford and Otis Thorpe In Miami, although Mason had been brought over by Miami coach Pat Riley to be a role player on what was thought to have been a contender Heat team, the kidney ailment of Alonzo Mourning forced Mourning to sit out and made Mason a starter for the team. Mason would respond by finishing second on the team in scoring, with 16.1 points per game, and averaging 9.6 rebounds. With Mourning and Grant Hill selected but unable to play due to injury in the 2001 NBA All-Star Game, Mason was chosen to represent the Heat in his only selection to an All-Star team. Mason helped the Heat make the playoffs with a 50 win season for the injury-ravaged squad. Mason, however, virtually disappeared in the playoffs, taking only 13 shots and averaging a mere 5.3 points and 3 rebounds in three games. Mason was waived during the offseason.

Mason signed with the Milwaukee Bucks for the 2001–02 season. In Mason's first season with the Bucks, the team stumbled to a 41–41 record (11 games worse than the previous season) and missed the playoffs altogether. Mason's numbers went down as well: 9.6 ppg, 7.9 rpg. Nonetheless, Milwaukee stuck with Mason for another year, waiving him after the 2002–03 season. Mason retired from the NBA in 2003.

TV/film/music appearances

In the TV series New York Undercover, Mason appeared in two different episodes, playing himself in one. He also plays a pickup player in the 1996 film Eddie, and himself in Woody Allen's Celebrity.

In addition, Mason appears in the Diamond D rap video "Best Kept Secret", dunking his way through the video on a New York City playground basketball court.[8]

The Beastie Boys song "B-Boys Makin' With The Freak Freak" from 1994's "Ill Communication" LP mentions him with the lyric "I got my hair cut correct like Anthony Mason"β€”the Beasties being NY Knicks fans.[9]

Personal life

Mason was born in Miami, Florida, and spent most of his childhood in Queens, New York.[6]

After being charged with statutory rape in 1998, Mason pleaded guilty to two counts of endangering the welfare of a child.[6]

Mason's son, Anthony Mason Jr., played on the St. John's University Red Storm basketball team.[10] He completed his eligibility for the 2009–10 St. John's Red Storm, and he went on to try out with the Miami Heat,[11] before playing for teams such as the Sioux Falls Skyforce and Cholet Basket.[12][13] Another son, Antoine, played basketball at Auburn University after transferring there from Niagara University,[14] where he led the 2012–13 Niagara Purple Eagles in scoring as a redshirt sophomore.[15][16]

Death

Mason suffered a massive heart attack in early February 2015[17] and was diagnosed with congestive heart failure. He later succumbed to the condition, and died on February 28, 2015, in Manhattan at the age of 48.[18][6]

NBA career statistics

Regular season

Year Team GP GS MPG FG% 3P% FT% RPG APG SPG BPG PPG
1989–90 New Jersey 21 0 5.1 .350 β€” .600 1.6 .3 .1 .1 1.8
1990–91 Denver 3 0 7.0 .500 β€” .750 1.7 .0 .3 .0 3.3
1991–92 New York 82 0 26.8 .509 β€” .642 7.0 1.3 .6 .3 7.0
1992–93 New York 81 0 30.6 .502 β€” .682 7.9 2.1 .5 .2 10.3
1993–94 New York 73 12 26.1 .476 .000 .720 5.8 2.1 .4 .1 7.2
1994–95 New York 77 11 32.4 .566 .000 .641 8.4 3.1 .9 .3 9.9
1995–96 New York 82 82 42.2 .563 β€” .720 9.3 4.4 .8 .4 14.6
1996–97 Charlotte 73 73 43.1 .525 .333 .745 11.4 5.7 1.0 .5 16.2
1997–98 Charlotte 81 80 38.9 .509 .000 .649 10.2 4.2 .8 .2 12.8
1999–00 Charlotte 82 81 38.2 .480 .000 .746 8.5 4.5 .9 .4 11.6
2000–01 Miami 80 80 40.7 .482 β€” .781 9.6 3.1 1.0 .3 16.1
2001–02 Milwaukee 82 82 38.3 .505 1.000 .697 7.9 4.2 .7 .3 9.6
2002–03 Milwaukee 65 58 32.6 .486 .000 .718 6.4 3.2 .5 .2 7.2
Career 882 559 34.7 .509 .167 .709 8.3 3.4 .7 .3 10.9
All-Star 1 0 20.0 .000 .000 .000 4.0 1.0 1.0 .0 .0

Playoffs

Year Team GP GS MPG FG% 3P% FT% RPG APG SPG BPG PPG
1992 New York 12 0 24.0 .442 β€” .786 6.3 .8 .2 .7 5.0
1993 New York 15 0 34.0 .590 β€” .632 7.3 2.7 .7 .4 12.5
1994 New York 25 0 26.4 .489 β€” .714 5.8 1.8 .6 .2 7.6
1995 New York 11 0 32.0 .608 .000 .623 6.2 2.2 .5 .5 9.5
1996 New York 8 8 43.8 .526 β€” .679 7.8 3.3 .5 .1 12.6
1997 Charlotte 3 3 43.7 .421 β€” .538 12.0 3.0 .3 .3 13.0
1998 Charlotte 9 9 40.8 .576 .000 .595 7.9 3.4 .9 .0 15.4
2000 Charlotte 4 4 44.8 .474 .000 .700 9.8 5.5 1.0 .5 12.5
2001 Miami 3 3 32.7 .385 .000 1.000 3.0 1.3 .3 .0 5.3
2003 Milwaukee 6 0 26.2 .412 β€” .692 3.3 .2 .5 .2 3.8
Career 96 27 32.2 .524 .000 .668 6.6 2.2 .6 .3 9.5

See also

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