Former NBA player P.J. Brown watched his daughter Kalani Brown become the leading scorer in Salmen history on Saturday in the Class 4A quarterfinals.
But earlier in the day, Brown got the news that former NBA player Anthony Mason had passed away. Earlier this month, Mason suffered a heart attack and was diagnosed with congestive heart failure. Mason was 48.
For those who remember, Mason and Brown had plenty of tough battles in the paint during the New York Knicks – Miami Heat rivalry.
“We said some ugly words towards each other and threw a lot of elbows,” Brown recalled with a smile. “When we played each other, we knew it was going to be hard. Nothing was going to be easy. They let us play back in those days. They are soft now, with a lot of touch fouls. Back then, they let us bang. They don’t let you do that any more.”
But despite those tough battles, they had the utmost respect for each other.
“He was the ultimate warrior,” said Brown. “He was just a great competitor. I loved to compete against him. He always gave 100 percent. He was a big man with a huge heart. I was shocked when I heard the news. I’m still shocked.”
Follow Rod Walker on Twitter at @RwalkerAdvocate