Former New York Knicks point guard Dean "The Dream" Meminger was found dead Friday in a hotel room in Harlem. He was 65.
Meminger was a member of the Knicks' 1973 NBA championship team. He was wearing his ring from that season when his body was found around noon Friday, the New York Post reported.
According to reports, Meminger's unconscious body was discovered at the Hamilton Heights Hotel. He was pronounced dead at the scene. Police are still investigating the cause, but the Post reported that he might have died of a drug overdose.
Meminger averaged 6.1 points in six NBA seasons with the Knicks and Atlanta Hawks. An All-American at Marquette, he was drafted No. 16 overall by the Knicks in 1971.
After his playing career, Meminger coached the Albany Patroons in the Continental Basketball Association, the Long Island Knights in the United States Basketball League, the New York Stars in the Women's Basketball League and at Manhattanville College in Purchase, N.Y. He also had worked as a drug counselor.
"We want to thank everyone for their prayers and condolences during this difficult time for our family," Meminger's family said in a statement. "Dean `The Dream' Meminger touched the hearts of so many on and off the basketball court. Through basketball and education, he helped countless people around the country receive scholarships, high school and college admissions, and even employment."
Meminger had battled an addiction to cocaine for years. In 2009, he was critically injured in a four-alarm fire in his room in the Bronx.
"Everyone at the New York Knicks' organization is saddened to hear the news of Dean Meminger's passing," Knicks general manager Glen Grunwald said in a statement. "From the day he was drafted by this franchise in 1971, Dean was a friend and close family member of this team.
"On April 5, 2013, the 1973 world championship team was honored at Madison Square Garden on its 40th anniversary. There was no one prouder than Dean to be back on the court with his teammates. We send our heartfelt condolences to the entire Meminger family."