Sport

Wayne Cooper died at 65

Former Denver Nuggets and Portland Trail Blazers center Wayne Cooper passed away Monday at the age of 65.

His death was confirmed by the Nuggets via the team’s official Twitter account.

Wayne Cooper has died at the age of 65, the Denver Nuggets have confirmed

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Wayne Cooper has died at the age of 65, the Denver Nuggets have confirmedPhoto credit: Getty
After retiring from playing, Cooper served as the vice president of basketball operations for the Sacramento Kings

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After retiring from playing, Cooper served as the vice president of basketball operations for the Sacramento KingsCredit: AP

“We are saddened to hear of the passing of a great nugget, teammate and human being, Wayne Cooper.” Read the tweet.

“He will be sorely missed and our thoughts are with his family at this time. Rest in peace.”

Cooper played 14 seasons in the NBA. In 1978, he was selected as a second-round draft pick by the Golden State Warriors.

He played briefly with the Utah Jazz, Dallas Mavericks and Trail Blazers before joining the Nuggets in 1984.

While playing for the team, Cooper averaged 9.5 points and 7.4 rebounds per game and helped the Nuggets reach the Western Conference Semifinals three times.

Cooper played three more seasons with the Trail Blazers and officially retired in 1992. During his career, he averaged 7.9 points and 6.2 rebounds in 984 games.

He then became an assistant with the Sacramento Kings before serving as their vice president of basketball operations for nearly twenty years.

TRIBUTE FLOOD ON

NBA correspondent Marc Stein said it was “Sadness” tonight following the news of Cooper’s death.

“…can still picture Wayne Cooper with those nonstop dough moe teams of the ’80s. #REST IN PEACE”

ESPN senior NBA writer Marc J. Spears said he was “devastated to hear that Wayne passed away.”

“Literally and figuratively an amazing giant of a man who has had a respectable career as a player and front office executive. no ego Great Louisiana people who cared about others. Brilliant. Will miss him very much.”

“Oh man, hate to hear that. Coop was a gem,” said Sam Amick, a writer for The Athletic.

“No matter the situation, he always seemed to choose kindness. Thoughts and prayers to his family.”

Blazer’s Edge, a news site dedicated to the Trail Blazers, offered its condolences to Cooper’s family, friends and loved ones.

“Thank you for sharing it with us. His talents shaped us. He will be missed.”

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