Lance Blanks, a former NBA player and front-office executive, died at 56, according to an article from the Associated Press. His family announced his passing on Thursday. He died Wednesday in Dallas, his family said in a statement.
“Lance was a light for all those who knew him,” said NBA executive Joe Dumars, via the Associated Press. “It’s been a privilege to have called him one of my closest friends.
“I’m eternally grateful for all the support he has shown me throughout the years. His legacy will be carried on, not only by his family, but by all those whose lives he touched for the better.”
Blanks split time with the Detroit Pistons and Minnesota Timberwolves over three seasons in the NBA from 1990-93. He would move on to take front-office roles across the league, including a role as an Assistant General Manager for the Cleveland Cavaliers from 2005-10. He joined the Cavs as an assistant in 2005 under then-general manager Danny Ferry, who was named the eighth GM in Cavaliers history in 2005 before his resignation in 2010.
Lance Blanks took a general manager role with the Phoenix Suns from 2010-13. His tenure with Phoenix was highlighted by a blockbuster trade that sent Suns guard Steve Nash to the Los Angeles Lakers in 2012 and the re-acquisition of guard Goran Dragic after he was traded in 2011, according to Bright Side of the Sun.
“Lance Blanks served as Assistant General Manager of the Cleveland Cavaliers from 2005-10,” the Cavs wrote in a Thursday statement. “His personality and work ethic left a lasting impact on the organization.
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“We send our deepest condolences to the Blanks family and everyone whose life he touched.”
Lance Blanks spent his college career with the Virginia Cavaliers and the Texas Longhorns. The 6-foot-4-inch guard earned 20 points, five rebounds and 3.7 assists per contest in 66 games played for Texas. He was inducted into the Longhorns Hall of Honor in 2007, according to the AP.