It is a somber day in the NBA community as we grieve the loss of Pistons legend Earl Cureton, who passed away earlier this morning.
The NBA community is responding to this unexpected loss, expressing their emotions and extending condolences to Mr. Earl Cureton’s family and friends.
Earl Cureton passes away at 66
University of Detroit standout, Earl Cureton, who later became the center for the Detroit Pistons and the team’s community ambassador, passed away early this morning at the age of 66.
Known as “TWIRL,” Cureton began his college career at Robert Morris College in 1976 after excelling with the Detroit Finneys. He played in the 1979 NCAA Tournament as a junior before the Titans transitioned to the Detroit Angels.
The Pistons’ front office took to social media to share their memories of Earl Cureton, paying tribute to the late legend.
Earl Cureton was drafted in the third round by the Philadelphia 76ers in 1979. He joined the team a year later, playing for three seasons before signing with the Pistons ahead of the 1983-84 season. His basketball career extended over 17 seasons, involving numerous overseas stints, and he retired at the age of 39 following the 1996-97 season with the Toronto Raptors.
Earl Cureton enjoyed a lengthy and diverse professional basketball career that covered almost two decades, playing for seven NBA teams and various overseas clubs. Despite his journey, Detroit remained his true home throughout it all.
NBA community sadden by Earl Cureton’s death
Over his 17-year NBA career, Cureton played for notable teams such as the Houston Rockets, who secured victory against the Knicks in the 1994 NBA Finals for another championship, along with stints at the Chicago Bulls, Charlotte Hornets, and Toronto Raptors. The organizations that Earl Cureton played for expressed their condolences on social media to honor the NBA legend.
“I AM HEARTBROKEN”, wrote Dick Vitale ex-coach of the Detroit Pistons.
Players and fans worldwide took to every social media platform to tip their hats and pay their respects to Mr. Earl Cureton.
Following his retirement, Cureton took on coaching roles in the WNBA, American Basketball League, and Continental Basketball Association. Additionally, he contributed to commercials for Bally Sports Detroit.
Earl Cureton is survived by his wife Judith and daughter Sari, who is actively involved in basketball at Georgetown. Funeral arrangements are anticipated to be announced on Sunday.