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NBA All-Stars Dave De Busschere – 1972-’73 Topps #30

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ImageDavid Albert DeBusschere (October 16, 1940 – May 14, 2003) was an American NBA and major league baseball player and coach in the NBA. In 1996, DeBusschere was named as one of the 50 greatest players in NBA history. DeBusschere was drafted by the Detroit Pistons out of the University of Detroit in 1962 as a territorial draft selection. During his rookie season he averaged 12.7 points and 8.7 rebounds per game, and was later named to the NBA All-Rookie Team. However, DeBusschere was injured during his second season and only played in 15 games, resulting in the Pistons finishing with a record of 23-59. In the 1964-1965 season, at the age of 24, he was given the position of player-coach for the Pistons, and became the youngest-ever coach in league history. This stint as coach was not successful and he became a full-time player. During the 1968-1969 season, DeBusschere was traded to the New York Knicks for Walt Bellamy and Howard Komives. DeBusschere spent his best years in New York. He became one of the most talented and feared players in the league. He played a physical game on both ends of the floor, often ending the season as one of the league’s best rebounders. DeBusschere retired in 1974. His #22 jersey was retired by the Knicks, Imagethough not until many years after his retirement; it is thought the delay was due to DeBusschere’s taking a front-office job with the rival New York Nets (now New Jersey Nets) of the then-American Basketball Association upon his retirement. In 1962 DeBusschere was signed by the Chicago White Sox as an amateur free agent. He was pitcher for the Chicago White Sox from 1962-63. He pitched a shutout on August 13, 1963, against the Cleveland Indians, giving up six hits, one walk and striking out three. In May 2003, Dave DeBusschere collapsed on a Manhattan street when he suffered a fatal heart attack. He was 62 years of age. DeBusschere is interred at Saint Joseph’s Church Cemetery in Garden City, Nassau County, New York.

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