Jack Haley, the former UCLA big man who played nine seasons in the NBA including with the Jordan-era Bulls, as well as the Lakers and Spurs, has passed away at age 51.
Haley’s family confirmed the news in a statement released through the Lakers. Also, Phil Jackson confirmed the news. Haley, 51, died due to a heart condition.
“It is with great sadness that the Haley family announces the passing of our beloved father, son, and brother,” the family statement said. “Our hearts are broken by this sudden, unexpected loss. Jack was honored and grateful for the opportunity to play in the NBA for nine years, alongside world-class athletes with the Los Angeles Lakers, Chicago Bulls, San Antonio Spurs and New Jersey Nets. He cherished every moment and gave 100% whether on or off the court. And more than anything, Jack dearly loved his family. We are humbled and grateful for the outpouring of love, support, and prayers from around the country.”
Scottie Pippen was saddened by the news.
Haley was a reserve his entire career and averaged 3.5 points and 2.7 rebounds per game.
He was often known as the Dennis Rodman Whisperer — the two were good friends and Haley was often brought onto teams where Rodman played. In part that was to have someone who could help keep Rodman focused on the team, although Haley bristled at the idea he was just Rodman’s babysitter.
After his career, Haley spent time as a Lakers’ broadcaster. He lived in the Seal Beach area, near where he grew up in Huntington Beach, in Orange County, California.
Our thoughts go out to his family.