1st Black NBA Player, Earl Lloyd, Passes Away at 86


One of the NBA’s first legends passed away Thursday. Earl Lloyd, the first African American to play in the NBA, died at the age of 86.

Lloyd made his debut for the NBA in 1950 playing for the Washington Capitals. This was before the civil rights movement had officially begun.

Lloyd helped the Syracuse Nationals win the 1955 NBA title, joining teammate Jim Tucker as the first black players to play on a championship team.

The 6-foot-5 forward averaged 8.4 points and 6.4 rebounds in 560 regular-season games in nine seasons with Washington, Syracuse and Detroit. He missed the 1951-52 season while serving in the U.S. Army.

Inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame in 2003 as a contributor, Lloyd was 22-55 as Detroit’s coach in 1971-72 and the first nine games in the 1972-73 season.



Adam Silver released a statement