Former 13-year NBA veteran forward Anthony Mason is “literally fighting for his life” due to a serious heart ailment, a source close to Mason confirmed to ESPN.com.
Mason suffered a heart attack several days ago and has since had multiple surgeries at a New York hospital, the source said.
“We’re just hoping for the best at this point,” the source added.
The New York Knicks, one of the six teams Mason played for, tweeted out a message of support for the 48-year-old on Wednesday evening.
Longtime New York-based NBA writer Peter Vescey earlier reported details of Mason’s condition.
Some of Mason’s former teammates were bracing for the worst on Wednesday night, sources told ESPNNewYork.com
Mason played in the CBA and USBL in addition to his years in the NBA. The 6-foot-7 forward was perhaps best known for his five seasons with the Knicks.
Mason teamed with Charles Oakley, Patrick Ewing and John Starks to help lead the Knicks to the NBA Finals in 1994. He won the NBA’s Sixth Man Award in 1994-95 while playing for Pat Riley. His rugged play epitomized the nature of Riley’s Knicks teams.
Mason, 48, spent 13 seasons in the NBA with the New Jersey Nets, Denver Nuggets, New York Knicks, Charlotte Hornets, Miami Heat and Milwaukee Bucks. He won the Sixth Man of the Year award in 1995 with the Knicks and was named an All-Star in 2001 with the Heat.
A strong, physical, hardworking forward, he averaged 10.9 points, 8.3 rebounds and 3.4 assists per game during his career.
Later in his career, Mason was reunited with Riley while playing for the Miami Heat. He was named to his one and only All-Star team in 2001 with the Heat and finished his career with the Milwaukee Bucks.