basketball

Connie Hawkins, NBA Hall of Famer, dies at 75.

R.I.P. to 'The Hawk' of the NBA. Connie Hawkins, NBA Hall of Famer, dies at 75. The 4x NBA All-Star was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1992.


Mason Wright


Connie Hawkins (The Hawk) entered the league in 1969 at 27 years old and was drafted second overall after Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. The Hawk was already passed his prime when drafted after being banned from the league, but still went on to leave a Hall of Fame legacy. Hawkins most notably played for and was drafted by the Suns, who announced his passing this Saturday.

The Hawk was initially banned from the NBA until then-commissioner J. Walter Kennedy lifted the ban, initially imposed following a college point-shaving scandal. Hawkins claimed his innocence in the New York City point-shaving scandal that occurred while Hawkins was a freshman at Iowa in 1961, and the principals always contended he had nothing to do with it, but the NBA barred him regardless.

He was Julius before Julius, he was Elgin before Elgin, he was Michael before Michael. He was simply the greatest individual player I have ever seen.

There was no announced cause of death, but Hawkins was diagnosed with colon cancer in 2007. Nevertheless, fans will remember the high-flying Hawk who could blow by defenders, gripping the ball in one hand, and finish with either the finesse or the slam.

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