Jack Haley: Former NBA Champion Dead at 51

Jack Haley, a former NBA champion with the 1996 Chicago Bulls, died Monday in Los Angeles, California.

Jack Haley played nine seasons for the NBA. During his career, Haley played for the New Jersey Nets, Los Angeles Lakers, and San Antonio Spurs. Despite Haley’s multi-team career, Haley’s most memorable roll in the NBA was his time spent on the Chicago Bulls. During his time as a Chicago Bull, Haley played a back-up roll for the 1996 championship team lead by Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen, who recently tweeted:


In addition to his time on the court with Jordan and Pippen, fans may also remember Haley for his friendship with the highly publicized Dennis Rodman. Upon hearing of Haley’s death, Rodman posted the following on Twitter,


Haley was drafted out of UCLA as a forward-center by the Chicago Bulls. During his time in the NBA, Haley scored a total of 1,180 points, had 340 offensive rebounds, and 582 defensive rebounds. Fox Sports reports, that during his time in the NBA, Haley garnered a reputation for being a “free spirit” stating in part that,

“Haley was a free spirit. When he was with the Los Angeles Lakers in the 1991-92 season, they played preseason games in Europe. Haley stopped by the grave of Jim Morrison of The Doors and left a bottle of whiskey as a symbol of tribute. His affection for music didn’t end there. Haley actually has a bit role in Aerosmith’s “Love In An Elevator” video.”

After his time in the NBA, Haley would remain involved in the world of basketball. According to the NBA, Haley spent time as an assistant for the New Jersey Nets and would later go on to work as a TV broadcaster for the Los Angeles Lakers.

According to ESPN, the general manager of the Los Angeles Lakers, Mitch Kupchak recently stated that,

“Jack was a hard worker and always very professional. He was proud to wear the Lakers uniform, and he was always a credit to our organization and the Lakers family.”

In a statement released by his family, Haley is said to have died as a result of heart disease. Haley’s family would go on to state in regard to the former NBA champion that,

“He cherished every moment and gave 100 percent whether on or off the court. And more than anything, Jack dearly loved his family. We are humbled and grateful for the outpouring of love, support, and prayers from around the country.”

Both ESPN and the NBA reported that Haley is survived by his sons Jack and Jeff.

[Featured Image credit to dongtw.com]