Mark Eaton, Ex-NBA All-Star & Utah Jazz Legend, Dies Following a Bicycle Crash at 64
Mark Eaton, an Ex-NBA All-Star and former Jazz legend, passed away after being involved in a bicycle crash this month. He was 64.
ESPN reported former NBA Utah Jazz player Mark Eaton passed away on Friday, May 28, at 64. The All-Star player was involved in a tragic bicycle crash and died as a result.
Eaton was found lying on the road at 8:30 a.m. on Friday, after he crashed his bicycle in Summit County, Utah. The Utah Jazz team confirmed his death and shared details of his passing with the media.
According to the team, Summit County Sheriff's Office stated Eaton was taken to a local hospital where he later died. The Sheriff's Office stated that they do not believe a vehicle was involved in the crash.
The Utah Jazz Twitter Page shared a tribute for Eaton on May 29, 2021. They shared a throwback picture of Eaton during a game during his career as a player and wrote alongside the photo:
"We are heartbroken by the passing of Utah Jazz legend Mark Eaton. Our thoughts are with his family as we all mourn the loss of a great man."
Been thinking of this comment by @bigTbailey on Mark Eaton— David Locke (@DLocke09) May 31, 2021
"I was the kind of guy who needed that wing around me and Mark was obviously the biggest one and the gentlest one." pic.twitter.com/MshzoNoTOa
Eaton was a center and spent his whole career on the Utah Jazz team. He earned impressive gameplay stats during his career, including a 6 point average and 7.9 rebounds average when he finished his basketball career.
He is one of the only Jazz players to win the Defensive Player of the Year, an achievement he received twice. The only other Jazz team member to win the award is Rudy Gobert.
Tragically, a few other basketball players lost their lives or were badly injured after being involved in a car crash.
We are heartbroken by the passing of Utah Jazz legend Mark Eaton.— utahjazz (@utahjazz) May 29, 2021
Our thoughts are with his family as we all mourn the loss of a great man, mentor, athlete and staple of the community. pic.twitter.com/HkINyLF9ix
It is fitting that Gobert and Eaton are the only Jazz players to win the defensive awards, as Eaton mentored Gobert later in life, and during Gobert's career, The NBA player shared his own heartfelt tribute to the late Eaton.
Gobert shared two photos of the men on Twitter. In one photo, the two basketball players are posing with their bicycles, and in the second, they are holding their Defensive Player of the Year awards. Gobert tweeted alongside the images:
"To my great mentor and friend @markeaton7ft4, one of kind and an amazing human being, I'm grateful for your presence in my life over the years. "
To my great mentor and friend @markeaton7ft4 , one of kind and an amazing human being, i’m grateful for your presence in my life over the years. Gonna miss our conversations. But i know you’ll be watching. pic.twitter.com/XDvEJTPCwp— Rudy Gobert (@rudygobert27) May 29, 2021
Eaton profoundly impacted the basketball world, as he holds a few of the best stats in NBA history. He played 11 seasons with his team, which is the third-most in the team's history.
Tragically, a few other basketball players lost their lives or were badly injured after being involved in a car crash or bicycle crash over the last year. Terrence Clarke and Shawn Bradley were both involved in car-related accidents.
Shawn Bradley pic.twitter.com/0meyv8WF1j— Adam Terwilliger (@AdamTerwilliger) May 26, 2021
Former University of Kentucky player Clark was killed in April during a car crash in Los Angeles. The 19-year-old had just signed to Klutch Sports agency in preparation for entering the NBA drafts.
Bradley, a former NBA center for the Mavericks, was left paralyzed after being involved in a two-car accident in January. He had been riding a bicycle, and while trying to navigate around one vehicle, Bradley hit another.