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NATE THURMOND, 1941-2016

Nate Thurmond, a dominant defensive player in the NBA in the 1960s and ‘70s, died on Saturday in San Francisco at the age of 74. The cause was leukemia.

He was ferocious rebounder for the Golden State Warriors, competing against of Bill Russell, Willis Reed, Wilt Chamberlain and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, who once said Thurmond was his toughest competitor. A seven-time All-Star, he was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame in 1985 and named one of the N.B.A.’s 50 greatest players in 1996. He had a career average of 15 points and 15 rebounds per game.

Lakers legend Jerry West, now a member of the Warriors’ executive board, said online in a post, “He played with unbelievable intensity and was simply a man among boys on most nights, especially on the defensive end.”

Thurmond, a native of Akron, played in the NBA finals twice, losing to the Boston Celtics in 1964 and to the Philadelphia 76ers in 1967. He closed out his career with the Chicago Bulls and Cleveland Cavaliers.

Chuck D tweeted “Before @KingJames AKRON always reminded me of Mr Nate Thurmond driving through there... RIP”

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