Warriors lose a legend: Nate Thurmond, 1941-2016

Louis LaVenture,

The off-season has been eventful for the Golden State Warriors but things took a turn for the worse over the weekend.

The Warriors announced Nathaniel “Nate” Thurmond, 74, died from leukemia on Saturday in San Francisco.

Thurmond played 14 seasons in the NBA from 1963 to 1977, 11 of which were with the Warriors.

He worked in several roles for Golden State after he retired in 1977 including a community liaison and an analyst for television and radio broadcasts. Thurmond never won a championship as a player but he got to be a part of one when the Warriors captured their first championship in more than 40 years when they defeated the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2015.

The seven time all-star was one of the best players in the history of the league and was elected to the NBA Hall of Fame and named one of the 50 greatest players in the league’s history in 1996. At six-feet-eleven-inches, Thurmond was a beast down low. He dominated the forward and center positions and is one of just five players in league history to average 20 rebounds in a season and record 40 or more rebounds in one game.

Golden State Owner Joe Lacob said in a statement, “We’ve lost one of the most iconic figures in the history of not only our organization, but the NBA in general, with the passing of Nate Thurmond. Nate represented this franchise with class, dignity and humility as both a player and community relations ambassador for over 40 years. Without a doubt, he is one of the most beloved figures to ever wear a Warriors uniform and both a Hall of Fame player and Hall of Fame person, hence his #42 jersey hanging from the rafters at Oracle Arena.”

Several former teammates, current and former players took to social media to express their appreciation for Thurmond including NBA Hall of Famer, Warriors Executive and the man whose silhouette is the NBA logo, Jerry West.

“He played with unbelievable intensity and was simply a man among boys on most nights, especially on the defensive end,” West said in a statement.

“On the other hand, off the court, Nate was about as caring and loving as they come, extremely kind and gentle.”