Monday, June 4th, 2012 at 9:50 am  |  9 responses

Former NBA Player LeRoy Ellis Dead at 72

LeRoy Ellis, a member of the legendary and title-winning 1972 Los Angeles Lakers, passed away on Saturday. The NY Times has the obit: “LeRoy Ellis, a star center at St. John’s University who went on to a long N.B.A. career and played for the 1971-72 Los Angeles Lakers championship team that won a record 33 straight games, died on Saturday in Scappoose, Ore., a suburb of Portland. He was 72. The cause was prostate cancer, said his wife, Vera. Ellis, at 6 feet 10 inches, teamed with the all-American Tony Jackson and Kevin Loughery on Coach Joe Lapchick’s outstanding St. John’s teams of the early 1960s. ‘For a big guy, he was awfully quick — you can never catch him,’ Lou Carnesecca, who succeeded Lapchick as the St. John’s coach, said in a statement. ‘He had a soft touch and was a good rebounder. He was a quiet guy; you never knew he was around. But when he was on the court, you always knew.’ Ellis still holds St. John’s records for highest rebounding average in a season (16.5) and most rebounds in one game, with 30 against New York University in December 1961. He averaged 23.5 points a game as a senior, when he received the 1962 Haggerty Award as the New York metropolitan area’s best collegiate player. A first-round draft pick of the Lakers’, Ellis played for four N.B.A. teams in a professional career spanning 14 seasons. He was a slender 210-pounder, but he continued to be an outstanding rebounder. He was a backup to Wilt Chamberlain on that 1972 Lakers team, which beat the Knicks, four games to one, in the N.B.A. finals.”

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  • lakernation

    RIP Leroy Ellis

  • What
  • http://www.ckinter.com steve

    Does anybody know why Mr. Elisa ended up in Scappose, Ore.? BTW, Scappose is not really a subburb of Portland. It is a quirky little town down river from Portland on the Columbia river.

  • nbk

    Hahahahahahahahahahahaha. HILARIOUS

  • Redd

    That’s the 3rd nba great this month.

  • http://attyahoo susan jones

    another loss to mankind. A great old timer in nba history. my condolenses to all his family members. rest in peace. a devoted fan of the nba

  • Shag

    I saw Jerry West in the airport a few months and asked him about Mr. Ellis. I used to go to the Sports Arena in the early 60s, and even though the Lakers couldn’t get past the Celtics for the title, they still were a great team, and Ellis was a big part of that team. Glad he was around long enough to finally get a title. RIP big guy.

  • Joe San Agustin

    I was in college in the 60′s and I remember him well. What a guy! A true NBA icon! May he rest in peace.

  • nbk

    Bwahahahahaha. I’m still laughing