NBA: Former Knicks, Heat star Mason dead at 48

Miami Heat forward Anthony Mason (left) attempts to shoot around the defensive pressure of Indiana Pacers guard Jalen Rose (centre) and forward Jonathan Bender (right) during the second quarter of NBA play in Miami, Florida in this file photo from Fe
Miami Heat forward Anthony Mason (left) attempts to shoot around the defensive pressure of Indiana Pacers guard Jalen Rose (centre) and forward Jonathan Bender (right) during the second quarter of NBA play in Miami, Florida in this file photo from February 6, 2001. Mason died Feb 28, 2015 at the age of 48, ESPN and other media reported. One of Mason's sons said earlier this week that his father's health was improving after multiple heart surgeries. -- PHOTO: REUTERS

NEW YORK (AFP) - Former NBA star Anthony Mason, a power forward who played 13 league seasons, died early Saturday morning at age 48, his family announced.

Mason had suffered a massive heart attack earlier in February.

"Overnight New York City and the world lost a legend, a friend, a brother... but more than anything our father, Anthony Mason," said Anthony Mason Jnr., a college basketball standout at St. John's University.

Mason, known for physical play, averaged 10.9 points, 8.3 rebounds and 3.4 assists over 882 games from 1989 through 2003 with the New Jersey Nets, Denver Nuggets, New York Knicks, Miami Heat, Milwaukee Bucks and Charlotte Hornets.

Mason was voted the NBA's 1995 Sixth Man of the Year as the league's top reserve player while with the Knicks and named an All-Star in 2001 while playing for Miami.