Slater Martin, Hall of Fame Lakers Guard, Dies at 86.
Slater Martin, the Hall of Fame guard whose playmaking and defensive brilliance helped take the Minneapolis Lakers to four N.B.A. championship in the league’s first decade, died Thursday in Houston
Born in Elmira, Texas, in 1925, he played on two state championship teams at Jefferson Davis High School in Houston. But at only 5’7”, 130 pounds, he was an unlikely college prospect. He hitchhiked to Austin for a tryout at the University of Texas and made its 1943-44 basketball team, but joined the Navy after playing in only a few games. While serving in the Pacific during World War II, he grew to 5-foot-10.
When he returned to Texas in 1946, Martin starred as one of the team’s three quick guards—known as the Orange Mice or the Mighty Mice—who ran weaves until Martin or a teammate got open for a one-handed push shot. He led Texas to the N.C.A.A. final four in 1947 and set a school record by scoring 49 points against Texas Christian in his senior year.
Happy 49th birthday Spud Webb. The former Slam Dunk champion is currently the President of Basketball Operations for the Texas Legends, the D-League affiliate of the Dallas Mavericks. (Walter Iooss Jr./SI)