At the age of 44, former Portland Trail Blazer Kevin Duckworth has died of a heart attack in Gleneden Beach, Oregon.
Phoenix Suns coach Terry Porter, who played with Duckworth, said “Within the world of basketball, within those Trail Blazers teams, he was a jokester. He was a big, loving teddy bear. At times guys got frustrated because he didn’t have a mean streak. He was just a great guy. He loved the team atmosphere, loved being a teammate in those successful Blazer teams.”
Duckworth was part of a Trail Blazers goodwill tour and was scheduled to hold a basketball clinic on the Oregon coast when he died on Monday night.
The 7-foot Duckworth averaged 11.8 points and 5.8 rebounds over 11 seasons in the NBA, helping the Blazers reach the NBA Finals in 1990 and 1992. The two-time All-Star also played for San Antonio, Washington, Milwaukee and the Los Angeles Clippers.
Trail Blazrs president Larry Miller said, “Kevin will be remembered by fans as one of the most popular and recognizable players to ever wear the Blazers’ uniform, but to people who knew him, he’ll be remembered as one of the warmest and biggest-hearted.”
Duckworth, who grew up in the Chicago area, attended Eastern Illinois University and was selected by the San Antonio Spurs in the 1986 NBA Draft.