The Detroit Pistons mourn the loss of Earl Cureton, who passed away at the age of 66 today.
The Detroit Pistons regretfully announced the passing of Earl Cureton, a former player and esteemed ex-University of Detroit star, at 66 today. The cause of his passing has not been disclosed at this time. Not long after the news of his death became official, tributes began to pour in from notable members of the organization, including owner Tom Gores and former NBA Finals MVP Isiah Thomas.
Cureton played at the University of Detroit and won 2 NBA titles
Growing up in the 1960s, Cureton attended Detroit Finney High School before pursuing his education at Robert Morris. Subsequently, he showcased his basketball prowess at the University of Detroit, contributing significantly to their 1979 NCAA Tournament journey. During his senior year, he maintained an impressive performance, averaging 19.9 points and 9.1 rebounds per game.
Cureton, a two-time NBA champion, entered the professional basketball scene after being drafted by the Philadelphia 76ers in 1979. Throughout his career, he showcased his skills for various teams, including the Pistons, Charlotte Hornets, Los Angeles Clippers, Chicago Bulls, Toronto Raptors, and Houston Rockets.
His first taste of NBA championship glory came in 1983 with the 76ers, and he later secured another title while playing with the Rockets in 1994.
Thanks to his accomplishments at the college level, he was inducted into the Detroit Mercy Hall of Fame in 2007 and also had his jersey No. 24 retired by the school in 2020.
Detroit Pistons mourn the passing of Earl Cureton
Shortly after the unfortunate news became public, both Pistons owner Gores and former NBA Finals MVP Thomas released statements in tribute:
Statement from Pistons:
“The Detroit Pistons organization is deeply saddened by the passing of Earl Cureton, a person who meant so much to the organization as a colleague, former player, community ambassador and friend. As tough a competitor as he was during his playing years on the court, he was equally kind-hearted, outgoing and impactful off it. He represented our franchise with great passion and truly enjoyed working to give back and improve the lives of Detroiters in the city he loved so much. We extend our heartfelt condolences to Earl's family and countless friends and teammates during this most difficult time.”
Statement from Gores:
“Earl was one of the most generous, positive and caring people I knew. He was a loving father, devoted to his family, and I was honored to be his friend. He was a champion as a player and an important ambassador in our community. We are heartbroken over his loss.”
Statement from Thomas:
“All of us are hurting with the unexpected loss of Earl Cureton. He was a tremendous teammate, tough competitor, a champion and a great human being. Earl always held the Detroit community close to his heart and worked tirelessly to make a difference for the city he loved. He will be greatly missed.”
TL;DR (too long didn't read)
- Former Detroit Pistons player Earl Cureton died today at the age of 66; no cause of death has been released as of yet.
- Tributes began pouring in from the Pistons organization after the passing was announced.
- Both Tom Gores and Isiah Thomas released heartfelt statements in the wake of Cureton's passing.
Bottom Line: Farewell to a Pistons family member
It's heartbreaking to hear news of an untimely passing, particularly when the departed individual has left a lasting positive impact on the community they cherished.
Our heartfelt thoughts and prayers go out to the Cureton family as they navigate through this challenging period.