The NBA world received some sad news on Thursday when it was announced that Earl Lloyd, the league’s first African-American player, died at the age of 86:
— NBA TV (@NBATV) February 27, 2015
Lloyd joined the NBA at the same time as two other African-Americans in 1950, Chuck Cooper and Nathaniel Clifton. But it was Lloyd who played first, making his NBA debut on Oct. 31 with the Washington Capitols, one day ahead of Cooper.
Lloyd also played with the Syracuse Nationals and Detroit Pistons before retiring in 1960. He also coached the Pistons in part of both the 1971-72 and 1972-73 seasons.
Here’s a statement from NBA commissioner Adam Silver on Lloyd’s passing:
NBA commissioner Adam Silver's statement on the death of Earl Lloyd: pic.twitter.com/J02BlxReUU
— Jeff Zillgitt (@JeffZillgitt) February 27, 2015