Orlando Wooridge, who had a solid 13-year NBA career as a versatile forward, has died at the age of 52.
He was at his parent’s home in Louisiana where he was in hospice care for an ongoing heart condition, according to the Shreveport Times.
Woolridge went to the Final Four in college at Notre Dame then was the No. 6 pick overall by the Chicago Bulls in 1981. His best years were with the Bulls and he averaged 22 points a game in 1985. He was the star of that team when the Bulls drafted Michael Jordan, but the two never meshed. I will say this, the guy knew how to thrown down the dunk. His career went on to include stops with the Nets, Lakers, Nuggets, Pistons, Bucks and finally the 76ers.
Woolridge also battled a substance abuse problem and was suspended most of the 1988-89 season for violating the league’s drug policy. He returned the next season with the Showtime Lakers as the scoring punch off the bench. After his NBA career he went on to play a couple of years in Europe, including with Benetton Treviso under a young coach Mike D’Antoni.
Earlier this year Woolridge had been arrested for stealing aluminum water pipes that he sold as scrap.
But that’s not how we’ll remember him.