Nate Thurmond, a dominant NBA center over 15 seasons, dies at 74

Sat Jul 16, 2016 4:01pm EDT
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By Alex Dobuzinskis

(Reuters) - Nate Thurmond, a Basketball Hall of Fame inductee considered one of the greatest centers ever to play in the NBA, died on Saturday at age 74, his former team the Golden State Warriors said in a statement.

Thurmond, known for his bruising on-court style, died in San Francisco after a short battle with leukemia, the team said.

The seven-time National Basketball Association all-star excelled at all aspects of the game during a career that spanned from 1963 to 1977.

In 1974, Thurmond in one game became the first NBA player to record a quadruple-double by tallying double-digits in four statistical categories, with 22 points, 14 rebounds, 13 assists and 12 blocks.

"Looking back, he was as ferocious as any player in the history of the game on the court, but one of the kindest and nicest souls in his everyday life," Al Attles, a former player, coach and general manager with the Golden State Warriors, said in a statement.

A native of Ohio, Thurmond was drafted by the Warriors, who were then based in San Francisco but later moved to Oakland. He spent his rookie season as an apprentice of sorts to Wilt Chamberlain, a center considered one of the greatest NBA players of all time.

Thurmond soon began playing the forward position, with Chamberlain at center, before the Warriors traded Chamberlain in 1965 and Thurmond replaced him at center.

"I really liked Wilt as a person," Thurmond told in an interview after his retirement.   Continued...