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Nate Thurmond, Warriors great Nate Thurmond dies at 74

Nate Thurmond, Warriors great Nate Thurmond dies at 74

Nate Thurmond, left, in 1973 against Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. Thurmond was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame in 1985.

Nate Thurmond, the Hall of Fame center for the Golden State Warriors who became one of the N.B.A.’s most dominant defensive players and rebounders while battling some of the leading big men in league history, died Saturday in San Francisco. Thurmond, who was named one of the N.B.A.’s 50 greatest players in 1996 when it celebrated its 50th anniversary, was 74.

The cause was leukemia, his wife, Marci, confirmed.

Thurmond, who played mostly for the Warriors in the 1960s and ’70s, averaged 15 points a game, displaying a fine outside shooting touch, along with 15 rebounds. He played 11 seasons for the San Francisco and Golden State Warriors and his final three seasons with the Chicago Bulls and the Cleveland Cavaliers. He was a seven-time All-Star and was selected for the N.B.A.’s first or second all-defensive team five times.

He was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield, Mass., in 1985.

Remembering Nate Thurmond

Thurmond, at 6 feet 11 inches, vied with the likes of Bill Russell, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Willis Reed and Wilt Chamberlain, his onetime teammate.

“The toughest center for me to play against is Nate Thurmond,” Abdul-Jabbar once remarked.

“He played with unbelievable intensity and was simply a man among boys on most nights, especially on the defensive end,” Jerry West, the Hall of Fame guard for the Los Angeles Lakers and a member of the Warriors’ executive board, said Saturday on the team’s website.


Nathaniel Thurmond was born on July 25, 1941, and played high school basketball in Akron. He spent three seasons playing for Bowling Green, averaging 17.8 points and 17 rebounds over his college career, and he received all-American mention as a senior.

Thurmond was capable of ruining many an evening for the big man he was facing.

“It’s double demoralizing to a guy if you score on him at one end and shove him out at the other end,” he said. “I could look in a guy’s eyes and know he’s demoralized.”

Warriors Great Nate Thurmond Dies At 74 – YouTube

The Warriors community is mourning the loss of Nate Thurmond who died at 74 from leukemia in San Francisco Saturday. Vern Glenn has more on one of the greatest players in NBA history.

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