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Anthony Mason
Small forward/power forward
Born December 14, 1966 (1966-12-14) (age 43)
Miami, Florida
Nationality American
Listed height 6 ft 7 in (2.01 m)
Listed weight 250 lb (113 kg)
College Tennessee State
Draft 3rd round, 53rd overall, 1988
Portland Trail Blazers
Pro career 1988–2003
Former teams Marinos de Oriente (1988-1989)
Efes Pilsen (1988-1989)
New Jersey Nets (1989-1990)
Denver Nuggets (1990)
Tulsa Fast Breakers (1990-1991)
Long Island Surf (1991)
New York Knicks (1991-1996)
Charlotte Hornets (1996-2000)
Miami Heat (2000-2001)
Milwaukee Bucks (2001-2003)
Awards 2001 All-Star
All-NBA (1997, 3rd team)
All-Defensive Team (1997, 2nd team)
Sixth Man of the Year (1995)
NBA minutes played leader (1995-96, 1996-97)

Anthony George Douglas Mason (born December 14, 1966 in Miami, Florida) is a retired American National Basketball Association player with the New Jersey Nets, Denver Nuggets, New York Knicks, Charlotte Hornets, Milwaukee Bucks and Miami Heat. He averaged 10.8 points and 8.3 rebounds in his 13-year NBA career. During the prime of his career in the mid-1990s, he earned the NBA Sixth Man of the Year Award in 1995 and then led the NBA in minutes played in the subsequent two seasons. In 1997, he earned All-NBA (3rd team) and NBA All-Defensive Team (2nd team). He would go on to be selected to the 2001 NBA All-Star Game.

Mason, who played primarily the power forward position despite his relatively diminutive stature (he stood at 6' 7" (2.01 m)), compensated his lack of size by his impressive musculature, which made him one of the most feared defensive players in the league. In addition to his physical strength, he could rely on a very good court vision and was a precise and effective passer. He was also known for shaving logos and words into his hair.

Mason played collegiately for Tennessee State University and played professionally in Turkey, Venezuela, the Continental Basketball Association (CBA) and the United States Basketball League (USBL)

Contents

Basketball career

Mason attended Tennessee State University and was drafted by the Portland Trail Blazers in the third round of the 1988 NBA Draft (53rd pick), but was cut shortly afterwards. He then played for Efes Pilsen basketball club in Turkey, Marinos de Oriente in Venezuela, the CBA and the USBL for about a year. He had brief stints with the New Jersey Nets, where he averaged 1.8 points, and the Denver Nuggets, where he played only 3 games. Mason then signed with the New York Knicks in the summer of 1991.

Under legendary coach Pat Riley, Mason blossomed in New York, where he made up a strong front court alongside Patrick Ewing, Charles Oakley and Charles Smith. In 1994, the Knicks reached the NBA Finals for the first time since 1973 but lost in seven games to the Hakeem Olajuwon-led Houston Rockets. Mason was traded in 1996 to the Charlotte Hornets with Brad Lohaus for Larry Johnson. In 2000, he was sent to the Miami Heat with Eddie Jones, Ricky Davis and Dale Ellis for Jamal Mashburn, P.J. Brown, Tim James, Rodney Buford and Otis Thorpe, and finished his career with the Milwaukee Bucks. He retired in 2003, and fixed residence in Memphis, Tennessee.

Mason won the NBA Sixth Man of the Year award in 1995. He was named to the 1996-'97 All-NBA Third Team and to the NBA All-Defensive Second Team. He led the league in minutes played in 1995-'96 (3,457), also setting a Knicks record with the number. He also led the league in minutes played per game in 1996-97 (43.1).

His first season with the Hornets was the best in his NBA career. He recorded career-highs in minutes played (43.1), points (16.2), rebounds (11.4) and assists (5.7) and also 4 triple-doubles (the first in his career). He missed the entire 1998-'99 season due to an injury, then averaged 11.6 points and 8.5 rebounds the following one.

In Miami, although Mason had been brought over by Miami coach Pat Riley to be a role player on a contender Heat team, the kidney ailment of Alonzo Mourning forced him to sit out and made Mason a primary contributor for the team. Mason would respond by finishing second on the team in scoring with 16.1 points per game and would also average 9.6 rebounds. With Mourning and Grant Hill sidelined during the 2001 NBA All Star Game, Mason was chosen to represent the Heat, and it would be his first and only selection to an All-Star team.

He signed with the Milwaukee Bucks for the 2001-02 season. The team was full of stars already and, adding Mason to the front line, seemed like "the force" in the East. Chemistry problems plagued the Bucks, who had reached within one game of the 2001 NBA Finals just prior to the acquisition of Mason, and the blame largely fell on Mason, who, according to ESPN, had entered training camp 30 pounds overweight and openly criticized fellow Bucks players on and off the court. His vociferous criticisms were combatted by then-Bucks coach George Karl, who reminded Mason he was not a coach and needed to tone down his speech. Karl's directions were relayed to the media during an interview; nevertheless, Mason insisted during an interview with an ESPN contributor, "No, not really [did anyone tell me to tone down his speech]." In Mason's first season with the Bucks, the team stumbled to a 41-41 record (11 games worse than the previous season) and missed the playoffs altogether. Mason's numbers went down as well: 9.6 ppg, 7.9 rpg. Milwaukee was quick to rid itself of Mason, dismissing him after the 2002-2003 season.

Mason's son, Anthony Mason Jr., is currently a senior on the St. John's University Red Storm basketball team.[1]

TV/film/music appearances

In the TV series New York Undercover, Mason appeared in two different episodes, playing himself in one. He also plays a pickup player in the 1996 film Eddie, and himself in Woody Allen's Celebrity.

In addition, Mason appears in the Diamond D rap video "Best Kept Secret," dunking his way through the video on a New York City playground basketball court.

The Beastie Boys song "B-Boys Makin' With The Freak Freak" from 1994's Ill Communication LP mentions him with the lyric "I Got My Hair Cut Correct Like Anthony Mason" - The Beasties being NY Knicks fans.[2]

He also appears in the Beastie Boys music video "Root Down".

Notes

External links

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