Former NBA player Anthony Mason dies at 48

Former NBA forward Anthony Mason has died, a New York Knicks spokesperson confirmed to the The Associated Press on Saturday. Mason was 48. 
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Former NBA forward Anthony Mason has passed away, a New York Knicks spokesperson confirmed to the The Associated Press on Saturday. Mason was 48.

Earlier this month, Mason suffered a heart attack and was diagnosed with congestive heart failure. The 6-foot-7 Mason played for six teams over 13 NBA seasons from 1989-2003.

He spent five seasons with the Knicks (1991-96) and helped the franchise reach the Finals in 1994. The next season, he was named the league's Sixth Man of the Year. 

While a member of the Charlotte Hornets, in 1996-97, Mason was named to the All-NBA third team and All-Defensive second team. Mason earned his first All-Star appearance in 2001, as a member of the Miami Heat

He was selected in the third round of the draft by the Portland Trail Blazers in 1988, but spent time playing abroad before joining the Nets for the 1989-90 season. 

Mason then played one season for the Nuggets before beginning his stint in New York. He averaged 10.9 points and 8.3 rebounds during his career.

Mason's oldest son, Anthony Mason Jr., played for St. John's. His other son, Antoine, is a guard at Auburn. Antoine left the team on Thursday to be with his father. 

NBA commissioner Adam Silver released a statement on Saturday regarding Mason:

"Anthony Mason exemplified perseverance for all players fighting for their chance in the NBA," the statement reads. "With a gritty style of play and a distinctive skill set, he blossomed from a third-round draft pick into a Sixth Man Award winner, All-NBA selection and, at age 34, an All-Star. NBA fans and players around the league admired his tenacity on defense and playmaking on offense. Our deepest sympathies go out to the Mason family during this difficult time."