American professional basketball player Mark Edward Eaton played for the Utah Jazz of the National Basketball Association (NBA) for the entirety of his career (1982–1993). He was chosen as an NBA All-Star in 1989 and was also chosen as the league’s defensive player of the year twice (1985 and 1989). He also made the NBA All-Defensive Team five times.
Eaton, who is 7 feet 4 inches (2.24 meters) tall, is one of the NBA’s greatest defensive centers despite having limited scoring ability. He owns the NBA single-season records for blocks (456), blocked shots per game on average (5.6), and lifetime blocked shots per game (3.5). He also led the league four times in blocks. The Jazz retired his number 53.
You may read more about the circumstances surrounding Mark Eaton’s pἀssing below…
Mark Eaton Cause Of Deἀth Revealed
The Utah Jazz announced on Saturday, May 28, 2021, that Mark Eaton, a 7-foot-4 shót-blocking legend who twice won the NBA Defensive Player of the Year award, had pἀssed away. He was 64.
The Jazz said that Eaton was likely involved in a bike crash in Summit County, Utah. The Summit County Sheriff’s Office told the team that Eaton was transported to a hospital, where he later pἀssed away, and that there was no reason to think a car was involved in the collision.
“The Utah Jazz are profoundly saddened at the unexpected passing of Mark Eaton, who was an enduring figure in our franchise history and had a significant impact in the community after his basketball career, his presence continued around the organization as a friend and ambassador while giving back as a businessman and volunteer to his adopted hometown in Utah. We extend our deepest condolences to his wife Teri and their extended family. Mark will be greatly missed by all of us with the Jazz.”
The center, who played his whole career for the Jazz, four times led the league in blocks per game, and his average of 5.6 per game in 1984–85 continues to be the best mark since the NBA began keeping track of that metric. longtime NBA broadcaster Mike Inglis, now the radio voice of the Miami Heat said:
“He was so impressive, I used to call him the human condominium complex. He was something else on defense, let me tell you.”
The top career block average in NBA history belongs to Eaton, who has averaged 3.51 blocks per game throughout his career. In 1977, a community college basketball coach encouraged him to enroll while he was working as an auto mechanic. After that, he continued on at UCLA, where he spent time with the Jazz.
His 11 seasons with the Jazz are the third-most in franchise history, behind John Stockton and Karl Malone, two longtime Utah starters. His endurance was impressive, he once played in 338 straight games. His final averages for points and rebounds were 6.0 and 7.9, respectively.
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One of the Jazz’s first jerseys to be retired was Eaton’s No. 53. He won the DPOY award in 1984–85 and 1988–89, was chosen for the All–Defensive team five times (three times for the first team, two times for the second team), and was an All-Star in 1989.
In his later years, he worked as a motivational speaker and restaurant, among other things. The only other Jazz player to ever win Defensive Player of the Year, Rudy Gobert of Utah, looked up to him in recent years.
Gobert posted Saturday on Twitter:
“To my great mentor and friend @markeaton7ft4, one of kind and an amazing human being, i’m grateful for your presence in my life over the years, Gonna miss our conversations. But i know you’ll be watching.”
To my great mentor and friend @markeaton7ft4 , one of kind and an amazing human being, i’m grateful for your presence in my life over the years. Gonna miss our conversations. But i know you’ll be watching. pic.twitter.com/XDvEJTPCwp
— Rudy Gobert (@rudygobert27) May 29, 2021
Prior to Sunday’s third game in Memphis, Utah, coach Quin Snyder expressed the team’s condolences to Eaton’s wife. Snyder said:
“Mark was someone that was a friend, and I think a friend who a lot of us, in his relationship with Rudy Gobert I think is emblematic of who he was and his ability to listen, And then to offer counsel and support was something that was really unique, and obviously we’ll miss him.”
Eaton was also an officer with the National Basketball Players Association, which issued a statement expressing its sorrow at his pἀssing. The NBPA statement said:
“It may be cliched, but it’s true: Mark Eaton was a giant, in every sense of the word, A long-time member of the NBPA Executive Committee right through his retirement from the league in 1994, Mark served his colleagues with grace and strength, and continued to watch over them through his service for the Retired Players Association. His imposing physical presence made a delightful match with his warm and thoughtful manner.”
Eaton pἀssed just a few days after traveling to Chicago to take part in the celebration for his buddy Joe West, who on Tuesday night officiated his 5,376th regular-season game, breaking the baseball record. Eaton was selected by Phoenix with the 107th overall pick in the 1979 draft.
In 1982, Utah selected Eaton with the 72nd overall pick. He also never left. His career was halted by back issues after his final game in 1993, and he retired in September 1994. Eaton wrote in a column for The Salt Lake Tribune in which he announced his retirement:
“It has been a great ride, but life does have a way of moving on and I must move on with it, Thank you for letting me be a part of your life and community. I’ll be around.”
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