INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (Oct. 30, 2015)– Indiana Pacers legend Mel Daniels has passed away, the team confirmed Friday.
Daniels, 71, played for the Pacers from 1968 to 1974. He was a two-time ABA MVP and won the ABA championship three times with the Pacers.
“I join our extended Pacers family in offering my sincerest condolences to CeCe and Mel’s family,” said Pacers Sports & Entertainment owner Herb Simon. “We will miss him greatly, but when we look at that Hall of Fame banner in Bankers Life Fieldhouse, we will be forever reminded of what he meant to this franchise.”
Daniels is survived by his wife CeCe and family.
He played six seasons with the Pacers, averaging 19.4 points and 16.0 rebounds per game.
His jersey number was retired on November 2, 1985. In September 2012, he was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.
We are deeply saddened to learn of the passing of former center Mel Daniels, a stalwart on our 3 ABA championship teams and a Hall of Famer.
— Indiana Pacers (@Pacers) October 30, 2015
I just saw Mel Daniels last night at the Pacers game. Avoided putting my hand out because his handshakes could break bones. #RIP
— Chris Hagan (@ChrisHaganIndy) October 30, 2015
I have worse than terrible news: Mel Daniels passed away an hour or so ago. ABA/Pacers/HOF great had recently undergone open heart surgery
— Peter Vecsey (@PeterVecsey1) October 30, 2015