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Antoine Mason with his family after loss of Anthony Mason
Feb. 28, 2015

Auburn's Antoine Mason was in New York with his father, Anthony Mason

By Charles Goldberg

AUBURN, Ala. -- Anthony Mason, who helped lead the New York Knicks to the NBA finals in 1994 and the father of Auburn guard Antoine Mason, died Saturday morning in New York from complications from a heart attack he suffered last month.

Antoine Mason had flown back to New York on Thursday to be with his father and did not make the trip with his Auburn teammates for tonight's game at Texas A&M. He had flown to New York on two previous occasions to be with his father, but returned each time to play in Auburn's next game. Anthony Mason was a frequent visitor to Auburn Arena to watch his son play.

"Prayers going out to our brother @Antoine_Mason and his family during this very difficult time You made your Dad proud," tweeted Auburn coach Bruce Pearl.

Anthony Mason, 48, was a fan favorite with New York. The 13-year NBA player also played with Milwaukee, Charlotte, Miami, New Jersey and Denver. He averaged 10.3 points and 8.3 rebounds in his career.

Antoine Mason is Auburn's second-leading scorer, averaging 15.1 points per game.

On Monday, the younger Mason talked of his father.

"The cool thing is in certain games, if I mess up or do something, I can picture him with his facial expression, and I start laughing and get into a comfort zone. We have like a deep connection. He doesn't have to be here for me to know he's watching me," Mason said.

Another son, Anthony Mason Jr., released a statement for the family.

"Overnight New York City and the world lost a legend, a friend, a brother... but more than anything our father, Anthony Mason," the statement said. "As you all would expect our father - Big Mase - put up an incredible fight, dealing with severe heart issues. I'm wishing this was something else I was writing, but Pops we've got to let you know" 'we love you and know you'll always be with us.'"

"I ask at this time that you respect our family's privacy with regard to questions as our family takes the time to mourn."

Tonight's game tips off at 7:30 on the SEC Network.

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Charles Goldberg is a Senior Writer at Follow him on Twitter:



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