Former New York Knick Dean Meminger Dead at 65

by August 26, 2013

Dean “The Dream” Meminger, a beloved New York Knicks guard during the team’s glorious run in the 1970s, was found dead in a hotel room on Friday. His death was especially crushing to his good friend, and former teammate Earl Monroe. Per Newsday: “The 65-year-old was a playground legend who starred at Rice High and Marquette and played a key reserve role with the Knicks’ last championship team in 1973. According a New York City police report, Meminger was found by hotel staff unconscious and unresponsive in a room, and he was pronounced dead when emergency medical personnel arrived at the scene. Police said there were no signs of trauma, and the incident is under investigation. Cause of death has not been determined. ‘We want to thank everyone for their prayers and condolences during this difficult time for our family,’ Meminger’s family said in a statement reported by The Associated Press. ‘Dean ‘The Dream’ Meminger touched the hearts of so many on and off the basketball court.’ Meminger took his place in Knicks history as a reserve guard on the great 1973 team that included Walt Frazier, Willis Reed, Dave DeBusschere, Bill Bradley, Earl Monroe and Phil Jackson. Reed pointed to Meminger’s defense against Celtics star JoJo White in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference finals as the critical factor that set up the Finals win over the Lakers. Coach Red Holzman benched Monroe in favor of Meminger, who contained White to 22 points and scored 13 himself as the Knicks handed the Celtics their first-ever Game 7 loss. ‘I credit Dean with getting us that championship,’ Reed said back then. ‘He’s the reason we won. If he hadn’t stopped JoJo, we never even play the Lakers.’ Chosen in the first round of the 1971 draft, Meminger averaged a modest 6.1 points in a six-year NBA career. He joined Atlanta from 1974-76 but returned for one more season with the Knicks from 1976-77.”