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Marvin Webster, former Knick, dead at 56

TULSA, Okla. - Marvin Webster, a fierce shot-blockingcenter who helped lead the Seattle SuperSonics to the 1978 NBAfinals, was found dead in a hotel bathtub. He was 56.

His body was discovered in his room Monday morning in thedowntown Ambassador Hotel, police said Wednesday.

Foul play is not suspected and the death apparently stemmed froman illness, police spokesman Jason Willingham said. He added thatthe former 7-foot-1 center had been living at the hotel andemployees grew concerned after not seeing him for several days.

The medical examiner office said the cause of death has not beendetermined.

Known as "The Human Eraser," Webster spent nine seasons in theNBA. He averaged 16.1 points during the SuperSonics' playoff run in1978. He signed with the Knicks the following season and played sixyears in New York.

After playing 333 consecutive games, Webster missed the next twoseasons because of hepatitis before making a failed comeback withMilwaukee during the 1986-87 season. He played in 15 games as aBucks reserve before retiring.

For his career, Webster averaged 7.1 points and 7.0 rebounds. Heplayed in college at Morgan State and his first pro season was withDenver of the ABA in 1975. He also played with the Nuggets afterthey joined the NBA the following year.

His best statistical year came with Seattle, when he averaged 14points and finished ninth in the NBA with 12.6 rebounds and 1.9blocks a game. The Sonics lost the finals to Washington in sevengames that year, one season before winning their only NBA title.

His son, Marvin Webster Jr., played college basketball at Templebut died during his sophomore year at 18 after a heart attack.


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