Tag:Charlotte Hornets
Posted on: July 6, 2011 12:53 pm
Edited on: July 6, 2011 7:30 pm

Former No. 2 overall pick Armen Gilliam dies

Posted by Royce Young and Ben Golliver.

Armen Gilliam, a former No. 2 overall pick of the Phoenix Suns in 1987, died Wednesday. He was 47.

Police say Gilliam collapsed of a heart attack while playing basketball at LA Fitness in Collier Township, Penn. He was rushed to a nearby hospital where he was declared dead.

Gilliam, nicknamed "The Hammer," starred at UNLV on the 1987 team that won a record 38 games and made it to the Final Four.

Over at CBSSports.com's Eye on College Basketball, Matt Norlander notes that he leaves a big legacy in Las Vegas.
At Vegas, Gilliam was the seventh-highest scorer in school history. He put up 1,855 points in his three-year career, and scored a still-standing record of 903 points in the Final Four season of 1986-87. The team was 93-11 while he was there. He averaged 17.3 points and 8.3 rebounds as a Runnin' Rebel.

"I'm all shook up," former UNLV coach Jerry Tarkanian told the Las Vegas Sun today. "He was such a great person. He would take the shirt of his back for you."

Besides the Suns, he also played for the Charlotte Hornets, Philadelphia 76ers, New Jersey Nets, Milwaukee Bucks and Utah Jazz. He retired in 2000.

On Wednesday afternoon, Phoenix Suns president Lon Babby issued the following statement.
“On behalf of the entire Phoenix Suns family, I’d like to express our sadness at the news of the passing of Armen Gilliam and offer our condolences to his family.  Armen will always have a place in Suns history as only the second No. 2 overall pick for the franchise, but the rugged, tough enforcer known as ‘The Hammer’ on the court will be remembered by his former teammates and our fans for his easygoing nature off the court.”
Gilliam briefly ended his retirement, playing for the Pittsburgh Xplosion (Gilliam is from Pittsburgh), an expansion team in the American Basketball Association, in the 2005-2006 season. He was also the team's coach.
In his 13 NBA seasons, Gilliam, a 6-9 forward, averaged 13.7 points and 6.9 rebounds per game. He was always one of the most powerful, physical players in the league, hence the nickname "The Hammer." He was a strong dunker, and while he never really lived up to his draft position, he had a solid 13-year NBA career.

And finally, a did you know: Gilliam's first name was spelled Armon in college and first few years in the NBA, but he later changed it to Armen.

Posted on: May 11, 2011 12:58 pm
Edited on: May 11, 2011 3:31 pm

Reports: Robert 'Tractor' Traylor found dead

Former NBA player Robert "Tractor" Traylor was reportedly found dead in Puerto Rico. Posted by Ben Golliver. robert-traylor

Robert "Tractor" Traylor, the No. 6 overall pick in the 1998 NBA Draft, was reportedly found dead in Puerto Rico, where he was playing for the Bayamon Cowboys. He was 34 years old.

ElNuevoDia.com reported that Traylor was "found dead in his apartment in Isla Verde" and had "presumably died of a massive heart attack." PrimeraHora.com also reported that Traylor was found dead. SNY.tv reported that Traylor was "found dead of a heart attack in his apartment."

The Bayamon Cowboys confirmed the passing on their official Facebook page. The message read: "The center of the Bayamon Cowboys, Robert "Tractor" Traylor, was found dead in his apartment in Isla Verde. The game tonight between Mayaguez and the Cowboys was suspended ....."

ESPNDeportes.com reported that Traylor "had been missing for three days before friends went to visit him and found his body" and said that an official cause of death "has yet to be determined."

Cleveland.com reported that Traylor underwent "corrective heart surgery" in 2006 because of an "enlarged aortic valve."

Traylor, a McDonald's All-American heavyweight forward who attended the University of Michigan, played seven seasons in the NBA for the Milwaukee Bucks, Cleveland Cavaliers, and Charlotte/New Orleans Hornets. He is perhaps best known as the player who was traded for Dirk Nowitzki on draft night.

Traylor finished with career averages of 4.8 points and 3.7 rebounds in 14.3 minutes per game.

After his NBA career, Traylor played professional basketball in Turkey and Italy. He also made headlines in 2007 for pleading guilty to tax fraud charges in association with a drug dealer.

This post will be updated when additional information becomes available.

Update: The Milwaukee Bucks released the following statement.
The entire Milwaukee Bucks organization is saddened by the news of Robert Traylor’s death. Robert was a fierce competitor on the court who helped the Bucks reach the playoffs in each of his two seasons in Milwaukee (1998-2000). Off the court he was a gentle giant, displaying his smile and care, especially toward young people through his involvement in school visits and his work with the Special Olympics clinic. Our deepest sympathies go out to his family and friends. 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com