View Full Version : RIP Armen Gilliam

Basketball Fan
07-06-2011, 08:13 PM
The #2 picks of the 1985/1986/1987 draft are all passed I hope Smitty is careful he was the #2 pick of the 1988 draft


UNLV great Armen Gilliam dies at 47EmailPrintComments130ESPN.com news services
UNLV great and former NBA player Armen Gilliam died Tuesday night while playing pickup basketball at a Pittsburgh-area health club. He was 47.

The Allegheny County Medical Examiner's Office said Wednesday that Gilliam died Tuesday night at the LA Fitness gym in Bridgeville while he was playing basketball.

The office says a cause of death has not yet been determined pending an autopsy.

Dick Raphael/NBAE/Getty Images
Armen Gilliam, seen in 1989 against the Celtics' Kevin McHale, played 13 seasons in the NBA.
Gilliam, a 6-foot-9 forward, played 13 NBA seasons with six teams after leading UNLV to a 37-2 record and the Final Four in 1987. He was the No. 2 overall pick of the Phoenix Suns in the 1987 NBA draft.

Nicknamed "The Hammer," Gilliam played for the Suns, Charlotte Hornets, Philadelphia 76ers, New Jersey Nets, Milwaukee Bucks and Utah Jazz.

"We are deeply saddened to learn about the loss of Armen Gilliam," said Rod Thorn, president of the 76ers. "He was a hard-working, physical player during his distinguished 13 years in the NBA and we are proud of the contributions he made to the Sixers from 1990 to 1993.

"On behalf of the entire Sixers organization, we send our deepest condolences to the Gilliam family during this very difficult time."

Gilliam, who averaged 13.7 points and 6.9 rebounds during his NBA career, changed the spelling of his first name from Armon to Armen during his professional playing days.

UNLV retired Gilliam's No. 35 jersey in 2007 and inducted him into the school's athletic hall of fame in 2008. He was a consensus second-team All-America and Big West player of the year in 1986-87 as UNLV went 18-0 in conference play and reached the school's second-ever Final Four.

"He was one of the greatest Rebels ever and one of the best players we have ever had," Jerry Tarkanian, his coach at UNLV, said in a statement released by the university. "He was such a great person. Everybody loved him and he loved everybody. He was such a gentle person and such a caring guy. I am all shook up over it. I think the world of him and am just really shocked."

Gilliam coached and played for the Pittsburgh Xplosion in the American Basketball Association in 2005 and 2006. He also coached Division III Penn State-Altoona from 2002-05.

"The Runnin' Rebel family lost a true legend," current UNLV coach Dave Rice said. "As great a player as Armen was, he was even a better person."

07-06-2011, 09:30 PM
I'll miss the hammer. One of my favorite dirty work players.

07-06-2011, 10:11 PM
Wow...watched part of his draft today on nbatv

07-06-2011, 11:36 PM
Weird! I was just going through some cards of mine and saw a few of him and wondered whatever happened to him. He was a workhorse.

07-06-2011, 11:58 PM
During the '90s I only liked a small hand full of players that didn't play on the Pacers. For whatever reason he was one of them.