Basketball Great Connie Hawkins Dies at 75

Connie Hawkins, an NBA legend who played for the Los Angeles Lakers, Phoenix Suns, and Harlem Globetrotters, died on Friday. He was 75.

The Phoenix Suns, for whom Hawkins played from 1969-1973, released a statement via Twitter on Saturday.

“‘The Hawk’ revolutionized the game and remains to this day an icon of the sport and one of basketball’s great innovators,” reads the statement. “His unique combination of size, grace, and athleticism was well ahead of its time, and his signature style of play is now a hallmark of the modern game.”

Hawkins was born in Brooklyn and became one of the city’s playground legends. He spent seven seasons in the NBA, averaging 16.5 points, eight rebounds, 4.1 assists, and 1.2 steals. He was a four-time NBA All-Star and made the All-NBA first team in 1969-70 — a season in which he averaged 21.7 points, 9.2 rebounds, and 4.2 assists for the Suns.

Hawkins was forced to start his career in the American Basketball League due to a questionable connection to the central figure in a point-shaving scandal. He went on the play with the Harlem Globetrotters and the American Basketball Association, and was named the MVP of the American Basketball Association after leading the Pittsburgh Pipers to the championship in the league’s inaugural season in 1967-68.

After a legal battle with the NBA and the publication of a Look magazine piece by David Wolf that exonerated Hawkins, the 6-foot-8 forward made his NBA debut with the Suns in the 1969-70 season at the age of 27.

Hawkins played in the NBA for only seven seasons because of knee problems, transferring to the Los Angeles Lakers in ’73 and playing his last season with the Atlanta Hawks in 1975-76. He was an All-Star from 1970–1973 and was named to the All-NBA First Team in the 1969–70 season. Hawkins’ No. 42 jersey was retired by the Suns, and he was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame in 1992.

More Biz

  • Jussie Smollett Good Morning America

    Jussie Smollett Angrily Denies Complicity in Attack

    Attorneys for “Empire” actor Jussie Smollett issued a statement Saturday denying that he orchestrated his Jan. 29 assault, and saying he is “angered” and “devastated” by recent developments in the case. Chicago police want to interview Smollett, after learning new evidence from two Nigerian brothers who were released on Friday night. Local media outlets have [...]

  • Walt Disney Archives Founder Dave Smith

    Walt Disney Archives Founder Dave Smith Dies at 78

    Walt Disney Archives founder Dave Smith, the historian who spent 40 years cataloging and preserving the company’s legacy of entertainment and innovation, died Friday in Burbank, Calif. He was 78. Smith served as Disney’s chief archivist from 1970 to 2010. He was named a Disney Legend in 2007 and served as a consultant to the [...]

  • Colin Kaepernick Kneel

    Colin Kaepernick, Eric Reid Reach Settlement With NFL

    Colin Kaepernick and Eric Reid, two football players who alleged the National Football League colluded to oust them from the game after they started kneeling in protest of racial inequality during the playing of the national anthem, have reached a settlement in the matter, according to a statement from the sports organization and lawyers representing [...]

  • R. Kelly

    R. Kelly Could Be in ‘Big Trouble’ Over Alleged New Sex Tape, Attorney Says

    Strong allegations of sexual misconduct have followed R. Kelly for 25 years, but the singer has always managed to slip free. Yet reports that a videotape of him sexually assaulting an underage girl, combined with the outcry surrounding the Lifetime documentary “Surviving R. Kelly,” means that public sentiment, at the very least, is definitely not [...]

  • Christian Bale as Dick Cheney in

    New Media Residuals and Feature Films Contribute to Spike in Writers' Pay

    The outlook for members of the Writers Guild of America has brightened — even amid pervasive uncertainty in the entertainment industry. According to the most recent report to WGA West members, earnings surged 2.8% to $1.41 billion in 2017, thanks mostly to gains in feature films and new-media residuals. Total covered earnings for WGA West [...]

  • Joe Dante Gremlins

    Hollywood Execs Seek Licensing Deals at the New York Toy Fair

    On Feb. 16 more than 30,000 studio executives, buyers and toy company reps will gather in Manhattan for the annual Toy Fair New York, all vying for market share and trying to snag the latest hot trend in a fast-changing industry. Those working the film side of the business will focus much of their attention [...]

  • Lady Gaga Bradley Cooper A Star

    Universal Music Group Fuels 11.3% Rise in Vivendi's 2018 Revenues

    Vivendi’s revenues were up 11.3% to €13.93 billion ($15.7 billion) in 2018, powered by Universal Music Group, which delivered such hits as the “A Star Is Born” soundtrack and Drake’s new album. UMG’s revenues climbed by 10% to €6 billion ($6.8 billion) compared to 2017. On top of the “A Star Is Born” soundtrack, the [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content