Who was former NBA player and exec Lance Blanks who passed away at 56-years-old?
The NBA is in mourning today, after reports confirmed the passing of the former front office executive and scout for multiple teams. He will be missed.
A former Texas star, who was drafted by the Detroit Pistons in the first-round of the 1990 NBA Draft, Blanks would go on to establish himself off the court as a successful manager and dependable talent scout.
NBA exec Lance Blanks passes away
According to an announcement from his family, Lance Blanks, who played in the NBA for three seasons and later worked as a scout and front office executive has died. He was 56-years-old. While no official cause of death has been given, it is understood that Blanks died on Wednesday. The league itself offered a statement in response to news of Blanks’ passing.
“Lance was a light for all those who knew him,” said NBA executive Joe Dumars, one of his Detroit teammates. “It’s been a privilege to have called him one of my closest friends. I’m eternally grateful for all the support he has shown me throughout the years. His legacy will be carried on, not only by his family, but by all those whose lives he touched for the better.”
A look back at Lance Blanks’ career
As mentioned before, Blanks was drafted by the Pistons with whom he would spend two seasons before joining the Minnesota Timberwolves for one. From there he would spend a total of seven seasons playing internationally before finally bringing the curtain down on his playing career. Yet, in some ways Blanks may best be remembered for his work off the court. A former general manager of the Phoenix suns, during which time he would oversee a 98-132 record. Additionally, Blanks also served as assistant general manager of the Cleveland Cavaliers and in fact worked as a scout for the San Antonio Spurs and most recently the Los Angeles Clippers. There was also a brief stint as an ESPN analyst with the Longhorn Network an affiliate of his alma mater. Below you can see tributes from the various teams with whom he was associated.
A daughter’s love
Speaking on her father’s passing, one of Blanks’ two daughters, Riley Blanks Reed who was incidentally a four-star recruit for the University of Virginia tennis team spoke from the heart, as only a daughter could:
“My dad was my person. He was my teacher, my idol, my best friend,” she said in a statement. “The love I have for him is simply immeasurable. He carried his family and friends on his selfless shoulders and he was the wisest man I’ll ever know. The path ahead is dark without him but he once told me that he trusted my sister and me to carry the torch of our family’s legacy. And we will.”