Wayne Cooper, an ex-NBA standout who guided the Portland Trail Blazers to win the NBA Finals in 1990 and 1992, has died at the age of 65, according to the Denver Nuggets on Monday. Wayne Cooper was the vice team president in Sacramento between 1996 and 2013, reporting to Kings chairman Geoff Petrie. Wayne Cooper was part of that group that built the Kings squads that were a worldwide sensation in the late 1990s and early 2000s, including an eight-year championship season that featured a visit to the Western Conference finals in 2002.
Who was Wayne Cooper?
Artis Wayne Cooper was born in Milan, Georgia, on November 16, 1956, and died on April 11, 2022. Wayne Cooper is the Nuggets’ greatest blocker, trailing only Dikembe Mutombo and Marcus Camby. He appeared in 984 matches for a record of 7,777 points. Wayne Cooper had a pretty good career, according to Marc J. Spears, a veteran NBA reporter for ESPN, who conveyed his sorrow on Twitter. Wayne Cooper was also described by Spears as a ‘giant of a guy,’ referring to his reported stature of 6-foot-10. Wayne Cooper, a 6-foot-10 center, was taken with the 40th top choice in the 1978 NBA draught by the Golden State Warriors after being voted Sun Belt League Player of the Year at New Orleans. Over 14 NBA appearances, he played for the Utah Jazz, Dallas Mavericks, Portland Trail Blazers, and Denver Nuggets, averaging 7.9 points and 6.2 rebounds. Wayne Cooper’s greatest games were spent with the Nuggets. In 1984-85, he led a 52-win club to the Western Conference finals, averaging 12.1 scores and 7.9 reboundings. He had a career-high 13.1 points and 7.8 rebounds per match for a squad that won 47 games to win the conference championships.
You will be sorely missed, and our thoughts are with his family at this time.
Rest In Peace, Wayne Cooper.🙏 pic.twitter.com/a2UILOGaGZ
— Nuggets Nation (@NuggetsNationCP) April 12, 2022
Tributes to Wayne Cooper?
Wayne Cooper’s death was announced by the Nuggets on Twitter. The Nuggets tweeted, “We are heartbroken to learn of the loss of a terrific Nugget, teammate, and person, Wayne Cooper. He will be sadly missed, and our hearts go out to his family at this difficult time.” Many others flocked to social networking sites to offer memories and sympathies for Cooper’s family, including longtime Kings radio play-by-play announcer Gary Gerould. Gerould tweeted, “Stunned and terribly heartbroken to read of Wayne Cooper’s demise, Coop was a treasure! Denise and their daughters deserve peace and comfort.”
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