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Anthony Mason (basketball)
|Born||(1966-12-14)December 14, 1966
|Died||February 28, 2015(2015-02-28) (aged 48)
Manhattan, New York
|Listed height||6 ft 7 in (2.01 m)|
|Listed weight||250 lb (113 kg)|
|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|
|Number||42, 34, 14, 17|
|1989–1990||New Jersey Nets|
|1990–1991||Tulsa Fast Breakers|
|1991||Marinos de Oriente|
|1991||Long Island Surf|
|1991–1996||New York Knicks|
|Career highlights and awards|
|Career NBA statistics|
|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).
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.
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. 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.
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 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, 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.
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"—the Beasties being NY Knicks fans.
Mason was born in Miami, Florida, and spent most of his childhood in Queens, New York.
After being charged with statutory rape in 1998, Mason pleaded guilty to two counts of endangering the welfare of a child.
Mason's son, Anthony Mason Jr., played on the St. John's University Red Storm basketball team. He completed his eligibility for the 2009–10 St. John's Red Storm, and he went on to try out with the Miami Heat, before playing for teams such as the Sioux Falls Skyforce and Cholet Basket. Another son, Antoine, played basketball at Auburn University after transferring there from Niagara University, where he led the 2012–13 Niagara Purple Eagles in scoring as a redshirt sophomore.
Mason suffered a massive heart attack in early February 2015 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.
NBA career statistics
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