Dean Meminger Rumors
Dean Meminger, a speedy guard and tenacious defender who honed his basketball style in Harlem playgrounds and went on to play for the Knicks’ 1973 N.B.A. title team, was pronounced dead on Friday in a hotel room in Upper Manhattan. He was 65. The police said that staff members at the Casablanca Hotel, on West 145th Street, discovered Meminger unconscious in his room and that emergency medical personnel pronounced him dead. The cause was under investigation, but the police said there were no signs of trauma.
Meminger had long battled an addiction to cocaine and had acknowledged using drugs as far back as his N.B.A. days, when he was among a glamorous cast of Knicks in the franchise’s glory years. In 2009, he was critically injured in a four-alarm fire in his room in a building in the Bronx. “They call him Dean the Dream, and he is all of that and more,” Coach Lou Carnesecca said after his St. John’s team was beaten by the Marquette squad led by Meminger in the final of the 1970 National Invitation Tournament at Madison Square Garden. Carnesecca had followed Meminger since he was recruited by Rice High School of Manhattan out of a grammar school basketball tournament.
“Everyone at the New York Knicks’ organization is saddened to hear the news of Dean Meminger’s passing,” Knicks general manager Glen Grunwald said in a statement. “From the day he was drafted by this franchise in 1971, Dean was a friend and close family member of this team. On April 5, 2013, the 1973 world championship team was honored at Madison Square Garden on its 40th anniversary. There was no one prouder than Dean to be back on the court with his teammates. We send our heartfelt condolences to the entire Meminger family.”
Dean “The Dream” Meminger, a key player on the last New York Knicks team to win a title, was found dead in Harlem of a possible drug overdose today — with his gold championship ring still on his finger, sources said. A fully-clothed Meminger, 65, was discovered on his bed in the Casablanca Hotel on West 145th Street near Broadway after hotel staff went to talk to him after he didn’t check out as expected, sources said.