Mourners turned out to a private funeral Thursday to remember Anthony Mason, one of the Knicks’ most popular players of the 1990s, who died of a massive heart attack last weekend.
A service was held Friday morning at Greater Allen A.M.E. Cathedral of New York in Jamaica for Mason, a Queens native and Springfield Gardens High School star who went from playing hoops at the city's blacktops to it's brightest stage.
Mason died Saturday at 48 after fighting for his life and undergoing multiple surgeries of the days before his death.
Among the attendants was Mason's hall-of-fame teammate Patrick Ewing.
Late Thursday night Mason's son, Anthony Mason Jr., tweeted "A New York Legend....Pops I Love You."
One of Mason's other children, Antoine Mason, is a basketball player at Auburn University. His team tried to fly in to New York City along with coach Bruce Pearl Thursday night for the funeral, but their flight was canceled due to inclement weather. Antoine Mason, Auburn's top player, will likely miss the Tigers' final two games as he mourns his father's passing, Pearl said.
Mason is remembered as a bruising power forward with a no-nonsense demeanor on the court, and he had a fan-pleasing blue-collar work ethic.
He came up from the minor leagues and also played overseas before finally making the NBA, playing for the Knicks. He also played for the Charlotte hornets, Denver Nuggets, Miami Heat and Milwaukee Bucks.
Mason won the NBA’s Sixth Man Award in 1994-95, a season after helping the Knicks reach the NBA Finals for the first time since 1973. The Knicks lost to the Rockets in seven games. He was named to one All-Star team in his 13-year NBA career.