(KTXL) — Former Sacramento Kings front office executive Wayne Cooper died at 65-years-old Monday.
From 1996 to 2013, Cooper served as the Kings’ Vice President of Basketball Operations. During his time in the front office, the Kings reached the playoffs eight consecutive seasons from 1999 to 2006.
The Kings released a statement about Cooper’s death on their social media channels on Tuesday.
We are incredibly saddened to hear of the passing of Wayne Cooper. A coach, mentor and friend, Coop will forever be a beloved member of the Sacramento Kings family. Our thoughts are with his loved ones at this time.Sacramento Kings
Longtime Kings broadcaster Gary Gerould offered his condolences to Cooper’s family on social media.
“Stunned and profoundly saddened to learn of Wayne Cooper passing,” Gerould tweeted. “Big Coop was a gem! Wishing peace and comfort for Denise and their girls.”
Cooper played 14 NBA seasons and was a member of the Golden State Warriors (1978-80), Utah Jazz (1980-81), Dallas Mavericks (1981-82), Portland Trail Blazers (1982-84 and 1989-92) and the Denver Nuggets (1984-89).
One of Cooper’s best seasons as a professional came as a member of the Nuggets during the 1985-86 season. Cooper averaged 13.1 points, 7.8 rebounds and 2.9 blocks per game in 78 games.
The Nuggets tweeted a statement Tuesday about Cooper’s death.
“We are saddened to hear of the passing of a great Nugget, teammate, and person, Wayne Cooper,” the Nuggets tweeted. “He will be sorely missed, and our thoughts are with his family at this time.”