Remembering Earl Lloyd, NBA's First Black Player
Earl Lloyd said anyone who compared him to Jackie Robinson was "crazy," but his contributions to basketball are undeniable.By Cliff Judy | February 27, 2015
Basketball has lost one of its greatest pioneers. Earl "Big Cat" Lloyd was the first black player, the first black bench coach and the second black head coach in NBA history.
West Virginia State University — a historically black university and Lloyd's alma mater — announced he passed Thursday at the age of 86.
Lloyd was one of four black players drafted into the NBA in 1950, but he was the first man to appear in a game. He played nine seasons in the league and also shared the title of first black player to win an NBA championship with then-teammate Jim Tucker in 1955.