SJU Basketball legend McGuire dies at 84
Dick McGuire, former St. John’s and New York Knicks basketball star, died last week at the age of 84.
The Queens native suffered an aortic aneurysm, according to his wife Teri.
Nicknamed “Mumbles” for his soft-spoken and often jumbled onversations and “Tricky Dicky” for his offensive moves, McGuire helped lead the Redmen to their second consecutive NIT title in 1943-44, his first season with the team. He was honored with the Haggerty Award that same year as New York City’s most outstanding
McGuire took leave during the 1944-45 season to serve in World War II, returning the next season. He won his second Haggerty Award in 1949 while playing alongside his
“Dick was one of a kind,” said former St. John’s basketball coach and Hall of Famer Lou Carnesecca. “He was a great ballplayer and coach and a better human being. All of basketball is going to miss him.”
McGuire played 11 seasons in the NBA with the Knicks
and Detroit Pistons, representing the
Knicks in five All-Star games (1951, 1952, 1954, 1955, 1956) and leading
the team to three-straight NBA
Finals appearances (1951, 1952, 1953).
He ranks third on the franchise’s
all-time assists list (2,950).
The Rockaway Park native was
elected to the Naismith Memorial
Basketball Hall of Fame in 1993
after a storied career with the Knicks
organization, serving as a player,
assistant coach, head coach, head scout, and senior basketball consultant – his
most recent position – for 53 of the team’s 64 seasons. His No. 15 was
retired by the Knicks in 1992, and his No. 21 was retired by St. John’s in 2006, when the school bestowed
him with Basketball Legacy Honors.
“Dick McGuire was the
epitome of what it means to be a
Knickerbocker: pride, tradition and class,” said Knicks president of
basketball operations Donnie Walsh.
“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.”
In a statement released Thursday by NBA commissioner David Stern, McGuire was crucial in the early years of the league.
“Whether as a
player, coach, scout or consultant,
Dick loyally served the New York
Knicks organization,” he said.
The Knicks will wear a black No. 15 patch on their uniforms for the
remainder of the season, and McGuire’s Knicks banner was recently changed from white to blue in his memory.
“He’s been a part of this, almost like the bricks, and so I don’t know
of anybody else in the league that
I can say that about in the same
way,” Walsh told the Associated
Press. “So it’s a terrible loss for us.”
McGuire is survived by his wife Teri and their four children; Richard Jr., Leslie, Michael and Scott, as well
as seven grandchildren.