On Saturday morning it was sadly announced that Anthony Mason, who spent five seasons with the Knicks, passed away. Around three weeks ago Mason suffered a heart attack and underwent life-saving surgery. It was announced only a week ago that his condition was improving.
Mason will not only be missed by New York Knicks but the NBA as a whole.
Mason was drafted by the Portland Trail Blazers with the 53rd overall pick in the 1998 NBA Draft. He was with the Knicks for five seasons spanning from 1991-1996. Mason scored 3,893 points and grabbed 3,054 rebounds and committed 1158 personal fouls as a New York Knickerbocker.
The legacy that Anthony Mason leaves behind is truly unique.
During the 1990s New York was an incredibly physical, hard-nosed and relentless team. Anthony Mason is the definition of Bully Ball. He never, not even once, backed down from a contest or a fist fight. Mason played the game with an unmatched amount of passion, heart and desire. He had six fouls and Mason was never a player to leave one in reserve. He knew how to use his fouls.
Mason never left his teammates out to dry, he never left them to fight alone. Mason ran right in there to backup his teammates, even if it did result in a fine or suspension. Mason was the ultimate team player. His hustle is unmatched. Mason crashed the glass with reckless abandon, he dove for every loose ball and he set rock hard screens. Despite giving up pounds and inches Mason was an unmovable rock in the low post.
The legacy that Anthony Mason leaves behind is that you should never give up. He played every game like it was his last. His desire to win was incredible, his desire to do anything that would help win was astounding. Mason’s willingness to back his teammates up in every aspect of the game was extraordinary; on the court, in the locker room and even outside of the game of basketball. He is indeed the definition of the term bully ball. He will forever be remembered for his physicality and his will to win by any means necessary.
One Clydeism that defines Anthony Mason is hustle and muscle.
Anthony Mason not only played to win the game, but to win the fight as well.
Mase, you will be forever in the hearts and thoughts of not only New York Knicks fans but NBA fans across the globe. May you rest in peace. You will never be forgotten.
We are a New York Knicks family, let us mourn and remember him together.
My thoughts, prayers and condolences go out to the Mason family and close friends. Stay strong, stay together.