What a loss. NBA player Anthony Mason died at the age of 48 on Saturday, Feb. 28, ESPN reports. The athlete -- best known for playing with the New York Knicks for five years -- passed away after being diagnosed with congestive heart failure earlier this month.
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"First I want to thank all those who offered prayers and well-wishes for my Father, our family really appreciates it," Mason's son, Anthony Jr., said in a statement. "Overnight, New York City and the world lost a legend, a friend, a brother…but more than anything our father, Anthony Mason."
"As you all would expect our father -- Big Mase -- put up an incredible fight, dealing with a severe heart issue," he continued. "I'm wishing this was something else I was writing, but Pops we've got to let you know we love you and know you'll always be with us."
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The Miami native was drafted by the Portland Trail Blazers in 1988, and played for the Brooklyn Nets and Denver Nuggets. He later joined the Knicks from 1991 to 1996, and went on to play for the Charlotte Hornets until 2000. He also was the forward for the Miami Heat and Milwaukee Bucks before retiring in 2003.
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"Anthony was a multifaceted individual. There were many aspects to his personality, and some that people weren't aware of. In the best sense of the term he was a momma's boy," Mason's agent, Don Cronson, told ESPN. "From the day I met him he was always thinking of his mom and taking care of her. As rough and tough as he was, Anthony was also a doting father, and I saw that many times."