TIME Crime

Ex-Louisville Guard Chris Jones Pleads Not Guilty to Rape, Sodomy Charges

Duke v Louisville
Joe Robbins—Getty Images Chris Jones of the Louisville Cardinals looks on against the Duke Blue Devils during the game at KFC Yum! Center in Louisville, Kentucky, on Jan. 17, 2015

Former Louisville guard Chris Jones pleaded not guilty to charges of raping one woman and sodomizing another, the Louisville Courier-Journal reports.

A judge released Jones to home incarceration and set his cash bond at $25,000 after Jones appeared in court on Thursday. Two others, Tyvon Walker and Jalen Tilford, were arrested and charged in the incident, according to the Jefferson County Attorney’s Office.

Walker was charged with one count of rape and held on $75,000 bond. Tilford is charged with one count of rape and one count of sodomy. His bail is set at $100,000.

You can view a copies of Jones’ arrest warrants here. (WARNING: Contains graphic content.)

According to the warrant, Jones is accused of forcing one alleged victim to engage in vaginal and anal intercourse. The woman was able to identify Jones because she recognized him as a University of Louisville basketball player. She also said that Jones told her his name.

A second warrant states that Jones, and two other individuals, allegedly forced the second victim to have oral and vaginal intercourse. She also identified Jones from the basketball team.

The alleged incidents both occurred on Sunday, according to the warrant.

In a separate incident on Feb. 17, Jones had reportedly threatened a female student in a text message, according to a Louisville police report, saying he would “smack” her after she “messed up” his room. The woman did not want Jones to be prosecuted.

Jones was suspended from the Louisville program on Feb. 17. He returned to the team two days later and played 36 minutes and scored 17 points in the Cardinals’ 55-53 victory over Miami.

Jones was dismissed from Louisville’s basketball program on Sunday. No reason was given for Jones’ dismissal at the time, but Louisville said in a statement released Thursday that Jones had been dismissed when it learned that he had “violated a curfew and there were other accusations, without knowing specifics.”

Louisville said they can’t comment because of the ongoing investigation and will cooperate with authorities in the matter.

“While Chris is no longer a member our team, we understand that the charges are very serious,” the statement said. “We certainly expect our student-athletes to uphold certain standards, including their treatment of others.”

Jones, a senior, was the team’s third-leading scorer (13.6 points per game) and leader in assists (94) this season.

This article originally appeared on SI.com

TIME remembrance

First Black NBA Player Earl Lloyd Passes Away Aged 86

Earl Lloyd
Edward Kitch—AP Earl Lloyd, Oct. 30, 1972.

The Virginia native was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame in 2003

Earl Lloyd, the first black professional NBA player, passed away Thursday at the age of 86.

Known as “the Big Cat,” the 6’5″ forward made his league debut in October 1950, playing for the Washington Capitals. During his legendary career, Lloyd averaged 8.4 points during 560 regular-season NBA games.

Lloyd was also twice included in the CIAA All-America team and was three-time all-conference selection. Lloyd retired in 1960, after serving in the U.S. army, playing for the Detroit Pistons and winning the 1955 NBA championship for the Syracuse Nationals. He was also the NBA’s first black assistant coach in 1968 and was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame in 2003.

Born in Alexandria, Va., Lloyd is survived by a wife and three sons.

[Charleston Gazette]

TIME Basketball

Bulls’ Derrick Rose to Undergo Right-Knee Surgery for Torn Meniscus

Cleveland Cavaliers v Chicago Bulls
Jeff Haynes—NBAE/Getty Images Derrick Rose shoots a free throw against the Cleveland Cavaliers during the game at the United Center in Chicago on Feb. 12, 2015

The Bulls announced Tuesday that Derrick Rose will undergo surgery to address a medial meniscus tear in his right knee, marking the third time he’s undergone knee surgery since May 2012.

Rose reported feeling pain in his right knee, which led to an exam and an MRI, which confirmed the tear. A surgery date and a recovery timeline have not yet been set.

The 2011 MVP previously underwent ACL surgery in his left knee in May 2012 and a medial meniscus repair in his right knee in Nov. 2013. The first surgery sidelined Rose for the rest of the 2012 playoffs and the entire 2012-13 season. The second surgery sidelined Rose for the final five months of the 2013-14 season and the entire 2014 playoffs.

After returning to the court with USA Basketball last summer, Rose had played in 46 games this season, averaging 18.4 points, 5 assists and 3.1 rebounds per game.

Coach Tom Thibodeau will be forced to turn to backup point guards Aaron Brooks and Kirk Hinrich in Rose’s absence.

Rose, 26, is under contract through the 2016-17 season, earning $18.8 million this season and $20.1 million next season.

Chicago sits at the top of the Central Division standings with a 36-21 record, holding a one-game lead over Cleveland (35-22).

This article originally appeared on SI.com

TIME Basketball

Trade grades: Knight, Carter-Williams Move in Three-Team Mega Deal

Brandon Knight
Frank Franklin II—AP Milwaukee Bucks' Brandon Knight competes during the NBA All-Star Saturday Skills Challenge event Saturday, Feb. 14, 2015, in New York

The Bucks, Suns and Sixers combined on Thursday for a three-team point guard mega deal that sent Brandon Knight to Phoenix, Michael Carter-Williams to Milwaukee and a protected 2015 first-round pick to Philadelphia. Tyler Ennis and Miles Plumlee will also go from Phoenix to Milwaukee.

For Milwaukee, the surprising decision to move Knight is an indication it wasn’t prepared to commit major dollars to him next summer, when he’s set to enter restricted free agency. Acquiring Carter-Williams allows the Bucks to ride the 2013 lottery pick for the next two-plus years on his rookie deal.

Phoenix adds Knight as its point guard of the future after shaking up its deep guard ranks in multiple moves. The Suns traded Thomas, 2014 All-NBA third team guard Goran Dragic and Ennis to leave Knight and Eric Bledsoe as its young and talented backcourt duo.

MORE NBA: Trade tracker | Trade rumors | Grades: McDaniels to Rockets

Philadelphia parts with Carter-Williams, who has dealt with injury issues, shooting struggles and turnover problems in his sophomore season, to play for the future and add to their deep stash of draft picks. Carter-Williams admitted on Twitter he was “shocked” by the move.

Knight, 23, drew some buzz as an All-Star candidate for this first time this season and is averaging 17.8 points, 5.4 assists, 3.8 rebounds and 1.6 steals per season.

Carter-Williams, 23, won the 2014 Rookie of the Year award and is averaging 15 points, 7.4 assists, 6.2 rebounds and 1.5 steals this season.

Trade grades

Milwaukee Bucks: B

Outgoing: Brandon Knight

Incoming: Michael Carter-Williams, Tyler Ennis and Miles Plumlee

This trade could go two ways for Milwaukee, depending on how Carter-Williams manages the adjustment to playing for a real NBA team: A) it could wind up looking like a cautious, shrewd approach to salary cap management or, B) it could send them searching for a long-term solution at point guard after developing Knight into just such a commodity.

Knight is sure to command major attention in free agency this summer. He’s shown steady progress over his four-year career, has good size and the ability to balance his scoring and play-making for others and he carries zero off-court concerns. Knight isn’t a top-flight option at his position in the East, and he will be pretty far down the loaded totem pole in the West, but he’s proven this year that he can be the starting point guard for a team with playoff aspirations. Given the number of suitors available and the projected rise in the salary cap in 2017, Knight was sure to press Milwaukee to its limit when it comes to the price of his next deal.

MORE NBA: Players tweet reactions to deals | Grades: Garnett to T-Wolves

The Bucks responded by trading Knight early, thereby preempting a damaging offer sheet. Their bet is that Knight is a good, but not great point guard who would have been overvalued by unique market conditions and his career-year performance. That’s a reasonable bet. By taking on Carter-Williams, the Bucks will enjoy paying him just $2.4 million next year and $3.2 million in 2016-17. It’s possible Knight earns something like five or six times that money over the next two seasons, and not even his biggest fans would argue he’s five or six times better than Carter-Williams.

Milwaukee coach Jason Kidd will add the long, tall Carter-Williams to a lineup that’s already overwhelming with its wingspan. Kidd will look to narrow Carter-Williams’ role, as he simply was asked to do too much with too little help in Philadelphia. Carter-Williams’ size and versatility should appeal to Kidd, even if Knight has been a much better perimeter shooter and a more polished player this season. A season-ending knee injury to 2014 No. 2 pick Jabari Parker gives Milwaukee some time to work these things out, and perhaps it decided that Carter-Williams’ contract scale was better aligned with Parker’s and Giannis Antetokounmpo’s.

The addition of Ennis, a 2014 first-round pick, and Miles Plumlee gives Kidd new options at point guard and center. Ennis has yet to get a real shot in the NBA. His selection by Phoenix made little sense at the time, given its depth at the position, and he could get some time in the short-term due to Kendall Marshall’s season-ending injury. Plumlee joins a frontline that includes Zaza Pachulia and John Henson. If Larry Sanders’ buyout proceeds as expected, there should be some backup minutes for him as a beefier alternative to Henson.

All told, this is a counterintuitive move for a small-market team. Usually, such teams do whatever they can to lock up their breakout performers for as long as possible. Have the Bucks’ new owners succeeded in selling high on Knight or did they simply get cold feet and outsmart themselves? Knight’s play in Phoenix will write that story.

Phoenix Suns: B+

Outgoing: Tyler Ennis, Miles Plumlee, and 2015 first-round pick (top-five protected, via Lakers)

Incoming: Brandon Knight

Phoenix entered the deadline needing clarity at the point guard position and better roster balance. GM Ryan McDonough resisted the temptation to stay the course in hopes of sneaking into the playoffs by blowing up his backcourt depth chart, shipping out Goran and Zoran Dragic (to the Heat), Thomas (to the Celtics) and Ennis (to the Bucks). Needless to say, the log jam is cleared. Knight now enters the mix able to play all the minutes he can handle alongside Bledsoe, and he should fit well in coach Jeff Hornacek’s up-tempo, aggressive schemes. Assuming he is re-signed this summer, Knight’s arrival will hopefully slow down Phoenix’s incredibly fast roster churn, allowing McDonough to focus his effort and resources on filling out his frontline.

McDonough was reportedly facing pressure from Goran Dragic’s agent in advance of the Slovenian point guard’s free agency this summer. There was no sense for McDonough to enter a staredown he wasn’t going to win, and taking action at the deadline prevented a worst-case scenario where Dragic walked for nothing and Phoenix was left without a true starting point guard. Although he had to part with the Lakers’ blue-chip pick, he replenished his stockpile with a total of three first-round picks in the deals with Boston and Miami. More importantly, he put himself in position to ink Knight to a long-term deal this summer. When weighing who to reward with a lucrative four-year contract, there’s little question that Knight’s age (23) relative to Dragic’s (28) played a major role in McDonough’s thinking.

MORE NBA: Why the Suns are NBA’s perfect face for playoff reform

The Suns move forward with a point guard who should be capable of hanging with his peers in the West and with far fewer questions than they faced one week ago. The worst thing you can say about this move from Phoenix’s perspective is that it turns Ennis into a totally wasted pick less than a year after the selection was made.

 

Philadelphia 76ers: A

Outgoing: Michael Carter-Williams

Incoming: 2015 first-round pick (top-five protected, via Lakers)

Well, well, well. Wouldn’t you know it? Philadelphia has jumped at the opportunity to trade current players for future players. GM Sam Hinkie’s performed this movie before, when he traded Jrue Holiday to the Pelicans in exchange for Nerlens Noel and a first-round pick. As with Holiday, Hinkie likely came to the conclusion that he should cash out when he could for a good, but not elite, point guard.

Carter-Williams certainly had his warts this season. His 25.6 percent three-point shooting qualifies as atrocious, he ranks in the top five in turnovers and he penned one of thedumbest essays you’ll ever read for The Players’ Tribune. At 23, he’s older than most top-flight second-year players, and it’s fair to say that his star potential is pretty limited. Because the Sixers have no desire to win in the short-term, and everyone knows it, their only calculation is whether the player they can get with the Lakers’ pick has a better shot to be a franchise player than does Carter-Williams. That seems like a pretty safe bet, given that Carter-Williams currently ranks No. 45 among point guards in Player Efficiency Rating, even though he’s feasting on all the shots and minutes he wants.

Philadelphia could get Los Angeles’ pick as high as No. 6 this year, No. 4 in 2016 and 2017 and No. 1 in 2018. Given the Lakers’ misguided stubbornness not to full-on tank, there’s a good chance the pick conveys to the Sixers this year or next year. It might require some patience, but Hinkie has just acquired yet another quality shot at a franchise-level talent.

This article originally appeared on SI.com

TIME Basketball

The Day Michael Jordan Scored 55 Points at Madison Square Garden

Jordan Starks Harper
Kevin Larkin—AP Chicago Bulls' Michael Jordan, (45) drives to the hoop past New York Knicks' John Starks and Derek Harper (11) during first period action at New York's Madison Square Garden Tuesday, March 28, 1995

The Knicks were unraveled by his typical jump-shooting brilliance

Michael Jordan turns 52 on Tuesday, which means it’s the perfect time to look back on some of our favorite stories about the greatest of all time.

In 1995, Jordan scored 55 in his first game at Madison Square Garden after his first retirement. It was only Jordan’s fifth game back from his 17-month sabbatical, and he unleashed on offensive fury on the defensive-minded Knicks. Jordan dazzled with his typical jump-shooting brilliance and assisted on the game-winning basket after commanding a double team in the final seconds.

SI‘s Alexander Wolff chronicled the affair, unearthing some classic M.J. anecdotes in the process.

For example, although Jordan had only been back in the league for 11 days by the night of his game in New York, his competitive streak was already in tip-top shape:

On Tuesday the 28th, at the Bulls’ game-day shootaround, the Garden is rank with the smell of elephants, the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus having arrived five days earlier. But Jordan and a teammate, Ron Harper, are engaged in a game involving a different species: a version of H-O-R-S-E, half-court shots only.

“How much?” Harper asks, playing to Jordan’s wagering jones.

“Fifty,” says Jordan.

“I got you.”

Three times they match each other, miss for miss, before Jordan bottoms one out. Then Harper launches his try into the air, and, amazingly, it too swishes through the hoop.

But here is what makes Jordan Jordan: His next shot, another 43-footer, is perfect. Harper is literally at a loss.

“Hah!” says Jordan, adding a sort of amen to an omen.

And this is so ’90s:

Jordan is normally available to the press until the locker room closes 45 minutes before tip-off. He particularly likes to engage the New York writers, to consider their smarter-than-average questions. But tonight he hides out in the training room, playing solitaire on his portable computer.

Also, if you think Chicagoans are a little annoying about Jordan now, they were insane about him in 1995:

Thus the city must get all it can out of its single world-class celeb. Two nights after Jordan’s New York epic, SportsChannel Chicago will air 24 hours of highlights and documentary footage of, and interviews with, the man himself. And a Windy City radio station will poll its listeners on the pressing matter of whether Jordan should be named King of the Universe.

It’s a wonder that only 41% say yes.

Head over to the Vault and read all of Wolff’s observations about Jordan and the 55-point game. And you can go behind the scenes with Wolff and see how the story came about here.

This article first appeared on SI.com

TIME NBA

Where Next for Amar’e Stoudemire? Clippers, Mavericks Headline Suitors

Isaac Baldizon—NBAE/Getty Images Amar'e Stoudemire stands on the court during a game against the Miami Heat at American Airlines Arena in Miami on Feb. 9, 2015

The vast majority of NBA contract buyouts occur without controversy. So it is with the Knicksagreement to part ways with Amar’e Stoudemire, who in 2010 came to New York on a five-year, $99.7 million max contract. The star player who drew that contract is no more and the team that signed him in such high hope has been run aground to rebuild. At this point, Stoudemire had nothing more to offer a rebooting Knicks team and they, at 10-43, had nothing more to offer him.

All involved move on. New York remains on the hook for most (or all) of Stoudemire’s salary (tagged $23.4 million in total) this season, but clears playing time and touches for prospects who could be of interest to the team for next year. That doing so required they part ways with the longest-tenured Knick hardly matters. Teams this bad needn’t stand on ceremony.

New York also does right by Stoudemire in letting a 32-year-old, oft-injured veteran ply his trade elsewhere. Stoudemire has been hurt so often in his career – and especially of late with the Knicks – that to deny him competitive basketball when healthy seems cruel. Once Stoudemire clears waivers (a practical certainty given the size of Stoudemire’s salary), he’ll be empowered to seek it out elsewhere. Among those teams with reported interest are the Mavericks, Clippers, Suns, and Spurs.

All could make use of Stoudemire to varying degrees, though none would benefit from his addition quite so much as the Clippers. Los Angeles is a team desperate for bodies; even before Blake Griffin and Glen Davis were sidelined by injury, theirs was among the shallowest rosters in the league. The top of the roster is of contending quality. The bottom features more rotation spots than it does rotation-caliber players, to which Stoudemire could help. He might not be viable for more than 15-20 minutes nightly and won’t salvage L.A.’s defensive issues on the second unit. But what he can do is contribute in greater capacity than the Clipper alternatives when healthy, a positive outcome in itself.

The salary cap math is tight given that the Clippers are subject to the hard cap, but signing Stoudemire to a minimum deal should be feasible. In doing so L.A. would improve – perhaps not as much as Stoudemire’s name and reputation would suggest, but in some amount that could come to play a part in a Western Conference where every minor advantage matters.

Ditto for the Mavericks, whose need for a rotation big of any kind comes in equal measure to the Clippers. Dallas needs better minutes behind Dirk Nowitzki, spot insurance for Tyson Chandler, and stylistic flexibility as to give Rick Carlisle more options in his postseason tinkering. Stoudemire would be a partial address at the least, though he isn’t the caliber of rebounder or defender who could change the Mavs’ outlook all that drastically. Were Dallas to go on to sign Jermaine O’Neal (and were O’Neal to be in similar form to last season, when he was a difference-maker for the Warriors in controlled minutes) or get continued quality play from 10-day-signee Bernard James, however, the Mavs might buttress their back line enough to support their rotation’s quirks. Stoudemire would help in any case as an active finisher whom defenses respect.

At this stage, reports from the Dallas Morning News and ESPN.com point to the Mavericks as frontrunners in their push to acquire Stoudemire. This makes sense for all involved. Dallas is a balanced, veteran team with a friendly internal dynamic. They’re well-coached and well-supported with a successful training staff. Their offensive system turned Brandan Wright into a 75-percent finisher from the field and could conceivably make Stoudemire even more efficient through similar means. By signing with a contender and making the most of a reserve role, Dallas could offer a way forward for Stoudemire as much as a way out.

This article originally appeared on SI.com

TIME Basketball

Westbrook Scores 41, West Edges East in NBA All-Star Game

West Team’s Russell Westbrook, of the Oklahoma City Thunder, holds the MVP trophy after the NBA All-Star basketball game, Feb. 15, 2015, in New York.
Kathy Willens—AP Russell Westbrook holds the MVP trophy after the NBA All-Star basketball game in New York City on Feb. 15, 2015

The Western Conference beat the East 163-158

(NEW YORK) — Mixing Broadway and basketball, this NBA All-Star Game was a West Side Story.

Russell Westbrook scored 41 points, one shy of the All-Star record, and the Western Conference beat the East 163-158 on Sunday night.

The Oklahoma City speedster had a record 27 points by halftime and closed out the scoring with two free throws, falling one point shy of Wilt Chamberlain’s 42 points in the 1962 game. He was voted the game’s MVP.

The NBA’s return to New York showed off everything about the Big Apple, and by the time Frank Sinatra’s “New York, New York” played after the game, it was clear Westbrook was king of the hill.

“It’s amazing. It’s a blessing to be here in New York City,” Westbrook said during the MVP ceremony.

James Harden added 29 points, eight rebounds and eight assists for the West, which built a 20-point lead in the first half and then pulled away after it was tied at 148 with a little more than 4 minutes remaining.

LeBron James finished with 30 points, but couldn’t lead the East to the victory in his favorite NBA arena.

“Don’t get no better, man. You play in the Garden in front of these fans,” James said.

Harden’s 3-pointer snapped the final tie with 4:02 to play and Chris Paul followed with consecutive baskets. Westbrook’s fifth 3-pointer put it away at 158-149 with 2:22 to go.

Atlanta’s Kyle Korver made seven 3-pointers and scored 21 points for the East, while Washington’s John Wall had 19.

But right from the start, the players were sharing the stage.

Christina Aguilera appeared from behind a giant big apple, and belted out some New York-inspired numbers to start the show, joined on stage by the Rockettes.

Entertainment’s elite were all over the arena, with players hobnobbing with Jay-Z and Floyd Mayweather near their courtside seats at halftime. But the biggest roar came for a star from another sport — politics.

President Bill Clinton, who had a big night of his own at Madison Square Garden when he was nominated here during the 1992 Democratic National Convention, got a pair of loud ovations when he was shown during Queen Latifah’s performance of the national anthem.

Players were quizzed during comedic skits on New York talk and terms, and fuhgeddaboudit, Pau Gasol had no idea what a stoop was. (Stephen Curry knew it was a porch in the front of a building).

Pau won the jump ball against little brother Marc to begin the first All-Star game featuring two sibling starters, but for a while it looked as if that would be the East’s only win of the night.

The West shot out to a 20-point lead, but the East chipped away and cut it to 83-82 before pop star Ariana Grande’s halftime performance.

It was New York’s first time hosting the weekend since 1998 and a rare journey to the north for the NBA, which has preferred to stage the festivities in the warmth of the South and West.

Even some of the NBA’s most fashionable had to choose bundling up over dressing up, a concession to the frigid temperatures they faced during the weekend. But next year might be worse, when the game heads north of the border to Toronto.

Carmelo Anthony struggled to 14 points on 6-of-20 shooting for the East in what may have been his final game of the season. The Knicks star has been battling a sore knee for much of the season and may opt for surgery with the team owning the NBA’s worst record.

But even the Knicks’ misery couldn’t dampen the spirts for this basketball-rich city. Players on the floor were surrounded by some of New York’s hoops royalty, such as Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Julius Erving. There was even time to celebrate the Knicks: Willis Reed, Walt Frazier, Bill Bradley, Phil Jackson, Earl Monroe and Bernard King were honored during a break in the action.

Tim Duncan had one basket in his 15th All-Star Game, second only to Abdul-Jabbar’s 18. Duncan’s first was here in 1998, as was Kobe Bryant’s.

Bryant had to sit out along with Anthony Davis and Blake Griffin, leaving the West without three elected starters. But they had more than enough talent left, not surprising in another season where the West is the more powerful conference from top to bottom.

East coach Mike Budenholzer played his four Atlanta Hawks together in the first quarter, Al Horford joining Jeff Teague, Paul Millsap and Korver.

“I thought we would all be out there together quite a bit. We were kind of hand signaling to run a few plays, but you weren’t really running plays,” Korver said. “It was just up and down. But it was great for the Hawks and for the city of Atlanta. It was really cool.”

TIME Basketball

LeBron James Plans to Take Over Hollywood

Cleveland Cavaliers v Indiana Pacers
Andy Lyons—Getty Images LeBron James #23 of the Cleveland Cavaliers dribbles the ball during the game against the Indiana Pacers at Bankers Life Fieldhouse on February 6, 2015 in Indianapolis, Indiana.

The basketball star is building his second career

For LeBron James, it’s not enough to pull in the most endorsement dollars ($42 million a year) of any NBA player. According The Hollywood Reporter, the basketball player is ramping up projects with his production company, Spring Hill Productions, working on shows like Becoming (Disney), Survivor’s Remorse (Starz), Uninterrupted (Bleacher Report) and a pilot for a trivia game show (NBC). He’ll also appear in Trainwreck alongside Amy Schumer this summer.

While basketball remains the priority, it seems James is already plotting to remain culturally relevant long after his career on the court comes to an end—and to do it, he’s ready to entertain “all kinds of outside-the-box ideas.”

[The Hollywood Reporter]

TIME Basketball

Former NBA All-Star Anthony Mason Has Improved Slightly After His Heart Attack

Former New York Knick Anthony Mason attends the Boston Celtics vs the New York Knicks 2013 Playoff game two at Madison Square Garden on April 23, 2013 in New York City
JP Yim—Getty Images Former New York Knick Anthony Mason attends the Boston Celtics vs the New York Knicks 2013 Playoff game two at Madison Square Garden on April 23, 2013 in New York City

“Right now, it’s day to day, but that’s an improvement from moment to moment”

NBA veteran Anthony Mason has improved slightly after a massive heart attack that had him “fighting for his life” throughout the day on Thursday, reports the New York Times.

The Times cited Dan Cronson, Mason’s agent from his playing days, who was updated by a close family member. “Right now, it’s day to day, but that’s an improvement from moment to moment,” Cronson told the paper.

Cronson also said the family has been informed that Mason may need a heart transplant if he survives.

The 48-year-old Mason, who was known to have heart issues, was at the hospital getting a checkup when the attack happened.

The leftie played in the NBA for 13 years but is perhaps most famous for his five years spent on the New York Knicks in the mid-1990s.

While there, he proved himself as a physical big man with immense ball-handling skills. He was a valuable member of the 1994 Knicks team that lost to the Houston Rockets in the NBA Finals.

Mason won the NBA Sixth Man of the Year Award in 1995, became an All-Star in 2001 and was named to the All-NBA Third Team and All-Defensive Second Team in 1997.

Mason has two sons, Anthony Jr. and Antoine, who are both out to make a career in basketball. Anthony Jr. plays professionally in Europe and Antoine plays at Auburn University.

[New York Times]

TIME Basketball

Former NBA All-Star Anthony Mason Is ‘Fighting for His Life’

He suffered a massive heart attack

Correction appended, Feb. 17, 2015

Anthony Mason, a physical NBA power forward from the 1990s, is in critical condition after suffering a massive heart attack.

Retired NBA columnist Peter Vecsey broke the news on Twitter that Mason had undergone multiple surgeries, with one procedure lasting nine hours.

Mason played for six teams over his 13-year career but is probably most famous for his time as a valued role player for the New York Knicks in the mid-1990s. Mason teamed up with Patrick Ewing and Charles Oakley to form one of the most bruising frontcourts in NBA history. The Knicks offered their condolences to the Mason family via Twitter.

Mason was awarded the Sixth Man of the Year honor in 1995, was an NBA All-Star in 2001 and made both the All-NBA Third Team and All-Defensive Second Team in 1997.

Mason’s sons, Anthony Jr. and Antoine, are both pursuing careers in basketball. Anthony Jr. plays professionally in Europe while Antoine plays for the Auburn Tigers, according to Sports Illustrated.

Correction: The original version of this story misstated the timing of Mason’s heart attack. The attack was reported on Wednesday, Feb. 11, but had occurred earlier.

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