NBA Hall of Famer Arnie Risen Died

by August 08, 2012

Arnie “Stilts” Risen, who starred in the NBA in the 40’s and 50’s, has passed away. The Plain Dealer has the obit: “Former Boston Celtics great Bob Cousy remembered Arnie Risen as an intense teammate on the court and a gentle soul off it. Risen, 87, of Pepper Pike, a former Ohio State University star and two-time NBA champion who was elected to the Naismith Hall of Fame in 1998, died Saturday from complications of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. A lung cancer survivor, he had been in remission the past six years. ‘He was a very nice, gentle man who became such a competitor,’ Cousy said. ‘He, obviously, reached the highest echelon in his profession and the NBA, and you don’t get there unless you’re a pretty intense competitor. But you’d never knew that. He was a sweet and gentle person.’ […] Risen, a three-time All-Star who was nicknamed ‘Stilts’ for his lanky 6-foot-9, 200-pound frame as well as his rebounding prowess, began his professional career with the Indianapolis Kautskys of the National Basketball League, playing for $50 a game, although he eventually persuaded the owner that he should get the same salary untested rookie George Mikan was getting from the Chicago Gears — an astounding $12,000 a year. After two and a half years in Indianapolis, Risen played seven-plus years with the Rochester Royals, winning the NBA championship in 1951, when he averaged 16.3 points and 12 rebounds per game. In 1948-49, he led the league in field goal percentage at 42.3 percent. The Royals later moved to Cincinnati, Kansas City and then Sacramento. According to third edition of The Official NBA Encyclopedia, published in 2000, Risen holds Rochester records for points and rebounds in a season, scoring average and career rebounds. Risen remains eighth in rebounding in franchise history with 3,812, and seventh in free throws made (2,023) and attempted (2,888.) He joined Cousy and the Celtics in 1955, winning another NBA championship in 1957 before retiring in 1958.”