Anthony Mason, the burly power forward whose physical play personified the Knicks’ of the 1990s, has died. He was 48 years old.
Mason, who attended Springfield Gardens High School in Queens, had been hospitalized with congestive heart failure earlier this month.
“Overnight New York City and the world lost a legend, a friend, a brother... but more than anything our father, Anthony Mason,” Anthony Mason Jr. said in a statement Saturday.
“As you all would expect our father - Big Mase - put up an incredible fight, dealing with severe heart issues. 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.”
Mason, a 6-7 forward and one-time All-Star, played with six teams in his 13-year NBA career. He spent five seasons with the Knicks from 1991 to 1996 and was a key member of the team that reached the 1994 NBA Finals.
Mason, Patrick Ewing and Charles Oakley made for a formidable frontline and helped the Knicks become an elite defensive team.
“MY MAN MY MAN A. MASON R.I.P, WE GONNA MISS U BROTHER,” Oakley tweeted Saturday morning.
Mason averaged 9.9 points and 7.7 rebounds in his five seasons with the Knicks and won the 1994-95 NBA’s Sixth Man of the Year award. He began his career with the Nets and also played with the Nuggets, Hornets, Heat and Bucks.
Mason’s oldest son, Anthony Jr., played for St. John's. His other son Antoine plays at Auburn after transferring from Niagara.