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Former NBA player Sam Lacey dies at 66

The Associated Press

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) -- Sam Lacey, a former NBA All-Star center who spent most of his 13-year career with the Kansas City Kings, has died. He was 66.

The Sacramento Kings, where the franchise relocated in 1985, said they did not know the cause of death.

In a statement released through the team Wednesday, Kings general manager Pete D'Alessandro called Lacey ''one of the finest and longest-tenured players to ever don a Kings uniform.''

He said ''Sam's prolific legacy is evident throughout franchise lore, where he ranks first in games played, rebounds, blocks and steals. He was also known as a tireless worker and a wonderful teammate. He will be greatly missed and forever remembered for his contributions on the game of basketball and in life.''

Lacey was drafted fifth overall by the Cincinnati Royals in 1970 after a stellar career at New Mexico State. The franchise became the Kansas City-Omaha Kings in 1972-73, and later just the Kansas City Kings before the 1975-76 season.

Lacey made his only All-Star appearance in 1975. He averaged 10.3 points and 9.7 rebounds in his career, which ended after the 1982-83 season with Cleveland. Lacey's No. 44 jersey has been retired by the Kings and hangs in the rafters at Sacramento's arena.

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