Jerome Kersey, Longtime Portland Trail Blazer, Dies At 52
Jerome Kersey, the longtime basketball player, died Wednesday at 52. Kersey played for multiple teams in his 16 year career — Golden State Warriors, Los Angeles Lakers, Seattle SuperSonics, San Antonio Spurs and Milwaukee Bucks — but he is most known for being with the Portland Trail Blazers, where he played with them for over a decade.
According to a Trail Blazers spokesperson, Kersey was quite active this week: he reportedly had a knee surgery on Monday and then appeared with former teammates Terry Porter and Brian Grant at Madison High School on Tuesday — the former Trail Blazers were there to celebrate Black History Month. However, at this time it has not been revealed how or what caused his passing: he simply left the Blazers’ Rose Quarter offices not feeling well on Wednesday.
Kersey was a pillar of the Portland community, becoming an ambassador of sorts for the team following his short stint as a Milwaukee Bucks assistant and head coach. Since the announcement, Trail Blazers owner Paul Allen and other officials have released short statements to The Oregonian and all clearly show the impact the longtime player had on the organization.
“Today we lost an incredible person and one of the most beloved players to ever wear a Trail Blazers uniform,” said Paul Allen. “My thoughts and condolences are with the Kersey family. He will be missed by all of us. It’s a terrible loss.”
“We’re shocked to lose such a great member of our Trail Blazers family,” said Trail Blazers President/CEO Chris McGowan. “The news is so sudden, and we’re sure more details will be forthcoming. But it is indeed a sad day for our organization, the city of Portland and the NBA. Jerome will be remembered not only for his incredible contributions on the court, but his tremendous impact in our community.”
“Jerome was an incredible influence on our players as a model for life after basketball,” said Trail Blazers President of Basketball Operations Neil Olshey. “He set the bar extremely high with his long-lasting influence in this community.”
Kersey finished up his NBA career in 2001 with the Bucks. At his retirement, he had 11,825 points (10.3), over 2,134 assists (1.9) and 6,339 rebounds (5.5).