The Trail Blazers confirmed yesterday night that Jerome Kersey died without mentioning additional details. He was 52.
Kersey, who was famous for helping the Portland Trail Blazers reach two NBA Finals and won a title with the San Antonio Spurs in 1999, has gone. The last appearance for Kersey was on Tuesday with fellow former Blazers Terry Porter and Brian Grant at a Portland school in celebration of African American History Month.
Kersey Took second place on Portland’s career games list with 831, third in minutes played at 21,400, second in rebounds with 5,078, third steals with 1,059, and fifth in points with 10,067.
Kersey averaged 10.3 points and 5.5 rebounds in 17 seasons in the NBA with Portland, Golden State, the Los Angeles Lakers, Seattle, San Antonio and Milwaukee. He helped the Blazers reach the NBA Finals in 1990 and 1992, playing alongside Porter, Clyde Drexler, Kevin Duckworth and Buck Williams.
Many figures like Kobe Bryant , Vince Carter and Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard posted their condolences on Twitter” “Spoke to him regularly about life and the ups and downs of a NBA season. Gone too soon, much love!” Lillard said.
The Blazers released a press statement on Kersey:
“Today we lost an incredible person and one of the most beloved players to ever wear a Trail Blazers uniform,” said Trail Blazers owner Paul Allen. “My thoughts and condolences are with the Kersey family. He will be missed by all of us. It’s a terrible loss.”
“We’re shocked to lose such a great member of our Trail Blazers family,” said Trail Blazers President and CEO Chris McGowan. “The news is so sudden, and we’re sure more details will be forthcoming. But it is indeed a sad day for our organization, the city of Portland and the NBA. Jerome will be remembered not only for his incredible contributions on the court, but his tremendous impact in our community.”
“Jerome was an incredible influence on our players as a model for life after basketball,” said Trail Blazers President of Basketball Operations Neil Olshey. “He set the bar extremely high with his long-lasting influence in this community.”
Kersey retired from basketball in 2001 then worked as an assistant coach with Milwaukee in 2004-05 under Porter.