Mark Eaton, who twice was the NBA’s defensive participant of the yr throughout a profession spent solely with the Utah Jazz, has died on the age of 64.
The group introduced his dying on Saturday however didn’t give a trigger or particulars, saying solely it was sudden.
The Jazz described him in an announcement as an everlasting determine of their historical past who had a “important impression locally” after his basketball profession.
The 7ft 4in middle led the league in blocks per sport 4 occasions along with his common of 5.6 per contest in 1984-85 remaining the best because the NBA formally began monitoring the statistic.
Regardless of Eaton’s profession blocks common of three.51 per sport turning into the very best in NBA historical past, his profession occurred virtually by chance – he was working as an auto mechanic in 1977 when a neighborhood faculty basketball coach persuaded him to enrol.
From there, he went to UCLA earlier than happening to play 11 seasons with the Jazz – the third most within the group’s historical past behind very long time Utah cornerstones Karl Malone and John Stockton.
His sturdiness was additionally noteworthy, with him as soon as showing in 338 consecutive video games and ending with profession averages of 6.0 factors and seven.9 rebounds.
Eaton was the defensive participant of the yr in 1984-85 and 1988-89 in addition to an All-Star in 1989 along with his No. 53 jersey one of many first to be retired by the Jazz following his final sport for the aspect in 1993.
Following his retirement, Eaton had been, amongst different issues, a restaurateur and motivational speaker in addition to serving as a mentor to Utah middle Rudy Gobert, the one different participant in Jazz historical past to win the defensive participant of the yr award.