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Knicks Hall of Famer Dick McGuire dies

Former Knicks star Dick McGuire is shown at

Former Knicks star Dick McGuire is shown at the 69th Armory in New York. McGuire, a basketball Hall of Famer and longtime member of the New York Knicks organization, died on Wednesday, Feb. 3, 2010, the team said. He was 84. (File photo, Oct. 17, 1951) Newsday's obituary for Dick McGuire
Credit: AP

Dick McGuire was born in New York and always seemed to have been born for basketball. He never did stray far from his hometown or his beloved game, starring for St. John's and the Knicks, then staying with the latter team for parts of eight decades.

He was attending games and evaluating talent as recently as several weeks ago, continuing to cherish and embody the City Game. McGuire, of Dix Hills, died Wednesday at Huntington Hospital of natural causes. He was 84.

Born and raised in the Bronx, he was one of the great guards of his era, witnessed by his election to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 1993. People in New York basketball were family to him, and the group included his younger brother Al, who became more famous as a college basketball coach and TV analyst.

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It was the older brother who was a five-time all-star in the pros (1951, 1952, 1954, 1955, 1956). Dick McGuire still ranks third among the franchise's all-time assists leaders with 2,950, trailing only Walt Frazier and Mark Jackson. McGuire's No. 15 hangs from the Madison Square Garden rafters, having been retired by the Knicks in 1992.

McGuire coached the Knicks from 1965 to 1967, before trading places with Red Holzman and becoming the chief scout and assistant coach. All told, McGuire was part of the Knicks organization for 53 years, including the last 45 in succession. In his most recent role, he was senior basketball consultant, scouting and offering input to the general manager and coach.

"Dick McGuire was the epitome of what it means to be a Knickerbocker: pride, tradition and class," Donnie Walsh, president, Basketball Operations, said in a statement. "It was an honor to watch him play for our hometown team and I consider myself very lucky to say I worked alongside a man who shaped the National Basketball Association for parts of all eight decades of its existence."

He is survived by his wife Teri, four grown children, Richard Jr., Leslie, Michael and Scott, and seven grandchildren.

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