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Jack Haley dead, former Nets player was 51

Jack Haley of the New Jersey Nets shoots

Jack Haley of the New Jersey Nets shoots the ball over Orlando Woolridge of the Los Angeles Lakers during a game at the Great Western Forum in Los Angeles in 1990. Credit: Getty Images / Ken Levine

LOS ANGELES - Jack Haley, who played nine seasons in the NBA including a reserve role on the Chicago Bulls' 1996 championship team, has died. He was 51.

Haley's family confirmed his death, saying the cause was heart disease. He died Monday at Los Alamitos Medical Center, according to the Orange County coroner's office website. There were no indications of foul play and an autopsy will be performed, the coroner said.

Haley played for the Bulls, Nets, Los Angeles Lakers and San Antonio Spurs. The Bulls drafted the 6-foot-10 forward-center out of UCLA in 1987. He was known for his friendship with eccentric Bulls star Dennis Rodman.

"He cherished every moment and gave 100 percent whether on or off the court. And more than anything, Jack dearly loved his family. We are humbled and grateful for the outpouring of love, support, and prayers from around the country," Haley's family said in a statement issued Tuesday through the Lakers.

After his playing career ended, Haley worked as an assistant for the Nets and as a TV broadcaster working on Lakers telecasts.

"Jack was a hard worker and always very professional. He was proud to wear the Lakers uniform, and he was always a credit to our organization and the Lakers family," Los Angeles GM Mitch Kupchak said in a statement.

Haley is survived by his sons Jack and Jeff.

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