The Golden State Warriors have a monumental game ahead on Thursday night. It’s a must-win contest for the defending champs after LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers stole away Game 1 of their NBA Playoffs opening-round series on Tuesday. However, in spite of the gravity of his team’s upcoming battle, Warriors head coach Steve Kerr still opted to start his press conference by sending his condolences to the family and friends of Lance Blanks.
It was reported on Thursday that Blanks, a former NBA player who also served as the general manager of the Phoenix Suns between 2010 and 2013, tragically passed away on Wednesday in Dallas. This comes via ESPN’s NBA insider Marc J. Spears:
“Lance Blanks, former NBA player player and executive who worked as an ESPN analyst, passed away yesterday in Dallas, according to a family statement. The former Phoenix Suns general manager was 56 years old and was most recently a Los Angeles Clippers scout,” Spears wrote in his tweet.
Blanks isn’t exactly a household name, but it is clear that he was a significant figure within NBA circles. Warriors coach Steve Kerr made sure to pay his respects before even discussing tonight’s matchup against the Lakers:
“Just a devastating bit of news … He will be missed. It’s a terrible day,” Kerr said, via ESPN’s Dave McMenamin.
Lance Blanks played three seasons in the NBA during the early 90s. He was drafted in the first round in 1990 by the Detroit Pistons, where he spent the first two years of his career. He then suited up for the Minnesota Timberwolves the following year. He most recently served as a scout for the Los Angeles Clippers.
As the Warriors coach said, our thoughts and prayers are also with the Blanks family in these trying times. May his soul rest in peace.
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