Losing Wayman Tisdale: Another Sad Day for the NBA

Steven ResnickSenior Writer IMay 15, 2009

Today is another sad day for the National Basketball Association. Last week was it was the passing away of famous Detroit Pistons basketball coach Chuck Daly and today the NBA lost quite possibly one of the most underrated centers ever to play the game in Wayman Tisdale.

Tisdale was only 44 years old. Just two years ago he was diagnosed with bone cancer after he broke his foot in a fall in Los Angeles. A few months later he had to have his right foot amputated in hopes of slowing down the cancer.  

After his NBA career was done, Tisdale became a musician.

He became in inspirational story. Even though he had his foot amputated he went to physical therapy as well and he worked to get back up on the stage to play his guitar and he succeeded at that.

I remember watching the story on ESPN last year. He was a symbol of strength and determination and most of all to always have hope. Tisdale did his physical therapy at the Univeristy of Oklahoma where he was a big time college basketball player.

In the 1985 NBA draft, the Indiana Pacers drafted Tisdale as the second pick in the NBA draft. In the '87-'88 season he was traded to the Sacramento Kings.

Video Play Button
Videos you might like

When he was in Sacramento that is the first time I saw Tisdale. Even though I was a Golden State Warriors fan always, as a fan you could always respect a player like Tisdale who had the heart most NBA players don't have any more.

His best season came with the Kings in '89-'90 where he averaged 22.3 points per game, 7.7 rebounds, and .7 blocks per game.  

During his time with the Kings they weren't a very good team and they only had two players really worth mentioning in a sentence Tisdale and Mitch Richmond. This is one of the reasons why Tisdale wasn't talked about much.

Tisdale ended his career after the '96-'97 season with the Phoenix Suns at the time of his retirement he was only 32 years old. His career average as an NBA player were in 840 games played he averaged 15.3 points per game, 6.1 rebounds per game, and .6 bocks per game.

After his retirement that's when he dedicated his life to being a musician. 

Although, Tisdale was never a superstar in the NBA his battle with the bone cancer will always be remembered by most NBA fans. His heart, his determination, and his ability to stay positive through it out.

I recommend finding the ESPN story on Tisdale and about his battle to get back up on stage with his music.

Tisdale was only 44 years old and it's a shame that he had to have a dreadful disease like cancer which ultimately took his life. In the end Tisdale may have lost the battle with the cancer, but he came out the winner with his truly amazing story and his ability to battle the cancer.

RIP Wayman Tisdale.