HoopsHype Anthony Mason rumors

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March 12, 2015 Updates

Riley and Anthony Mason had their battles, but there was also much love, which made attending Mason's funeral last week so difficult. "When one of your players, that you coached very intensely for five years, leaves the planet before you do, it's like one of your children," Riley said. "It's just very hard." He's been around long enough to see several other favorites—his Forever Men, from Brian Grant to Magic Johnson to Alonzo Mourning—endure serious health hardships. "When Earvin went down, we thought it was the worst," Riley said. "When Zo went down, we thought it was the worst. When Chris, you think it's the worst....So it really affects you." Bleacher Report

March 7, 2015 Updates
March 6, 2015 Updates
March 5, 2015 Updates

Like many of Anthony Mason's former teammates, Patrick Ewing has plenty of Mase stories. "I don't think a lot of them can be put in the paper,” Ewing said with a chuckle on Wednesday. Over the next two days at the wake and funeral for Mason in New York, many family members, friends and former teammates will certainly share tales of the beloved former New York Knick with the intimidating scowl and muscular build of an NFL linebacker. ESPN.com

"Mase is very -- I am trying to think of the word … when you miss him and he thinks he should get the ball and he doesn't get it -- he is one of those guys that doesn't mince his words," Ewing said, chuckling again. "'Man, you missed me!' Or one of those things." The Knicks won an average of 54 games per season with Mason on their roster. It wasn't always a smooth ride, but Ewing will always look back fondly at having Mason by his side. "We played five years together," Ewing said. "It was one of the highlights of being with the Knicks. Those teams, we felt we had an opportunity or a chance to go real far. "It was great to share those moments with him," Ewing added. "It is sad to see him at that early age that he is not going to be with us anymore." ESPN.com

March 3, 2015 Updates
March 1, 2015 Updates

Jeff Van Gundy was an assistant under Pat Riley, and he said he never will forget that day in Charleston when the unproven Mason and the established Xavier McDaniel got into a fight that didn't end quickly. "It started with a block-out drill, and five minutes later, Xavier McDaniel and Anthony were going around the gym throwing haymakers at each other," Van Gundy said by phone. "I think it set the tone for just how hard we were going to play that season. He came in to compete and he backed down from no one." Newsday

"I think anybody who coached Anthony will always remember him for his intensity, passion, toughness and a really long work ethic," Van Gundy said. "He didn't take days off practice. He played every night. He was really a great, great story of perseverance that turned into success I don't think anybody imagined when he came to training camp for the first time with the Knicks." Newsday

On Saturday, before a game against the Toronto Raptors, the New York Knicks held a moment of silence to celebrate the life of former NBA forward — and former Knick — Anthony Mason. Earlier in the day, the Knicks confirmed that Mason had died at the age of 48. The moment of silence was one of many gestures from the sports world that honored the memory of Mason. For The Win

“We were a hard-nosed, no-nonsense team,” guard Derek Harper said. “Our toughness came through guys like Mase. He was the mainstay of what we were, the epitome of hard work. No one ever protected teammates like Oak and Mase. “He didn’t have my route to the pros,” Harper added. “He took the hard road, went to a small college [Tennessee State]. He beat the odds. And to be from New York and find success in New York as a Knickerbocker, that is a hard thing to do. But Mase had that toughness. This is just a sad day.” New York Post

He deserved such veneration on the court, although Mase shouldn’t be mythologized too much. Mason was no great hero, even with his up-from-nowhere, New York back story. He warred with the refs, got into trouble with the police, and he was accused in 1998 of statutory rape — a charge that was downgraded to two misdemeanor counts of endangering the welfare of a child. New York Daily News

Mason could be as surly to the press as he was to opponents, and that was just fine as long as he channeled his persecution complex into his defense. He did that, almost always. He gave and took the hardest fouls off the bench, then complained about not getting enough of the ball or the minutes. There was nothing phony about Mason. He was a born intimidator, a hard man. New York Daily News

The players mostly are forgotten now, but in the summer of 1991, the Knicks brought a group of hopefuls to the Catskills to play against an equally non-descript team of Philadelphia 76ers wannabes. One guy stood out: this hulking 6-foot-7 bruiser, Anthony Mason, who tossed the Sixers around like rag dolls. “Mase was tough. He didn’t give up anything. He wanted to play. Even then, players weren’t nearly as tough as he was,” said Paul Silas, a three-time champ as a player who was a Knicks assistant and later Mason’s head coach in Charlotte. New York Post

Mason did it his way. He frequently sent ballboys or locker-room attendants for a couple pregame hot dogs, a habit which didn’t endear him to Knicks nutritionists. One game, the ballboy was intercepted. The hot dogs were removed from the buns and replaced with bananas. Mason was not amused. But his anger would fade far quicker than the bruises he inflicted on opponents. And he wasn’t just a brute. Silas turned him into a point forward in Charlotte, a far more demanding role, and Mason handled it perfectly. New York Post

Mason played five seasons with the New York Knicks. Clippers coach Doc Rivers was Mason’s teammate for two-plus of those seasons. “The passing of Anthony Mason is so sad,” Rivers said in a statement. “He was a true warrior and a great teammate. He embodied what it meant to be a Knick. I loved him and my prayers go out to his family.” Los Angeles Daily News

On Saturday afternoon, Beastie Boys member Ad-Rock tweeted about Mason’s death: “MASE!!! You are for surely missed. RIP.” Mason was not the only Knick of the Pat Riley era to inspire the Beasties’ rhymes. “Get It Together” contains the line “I got heart like John Starks,” while “Flute Loop” references the team’s 1993 Atlantic Division title with the somewhat hard-to-decipher lyric: “Lead my team to 60 wins like my man Pat Ewing.” New York Daily News

February 28, 2015 Updates

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