Minneapolis Lakers legend Vern Mikkelsen has died at 85

Author:
Updated:
Original:

(Mikkelsen is No. 19 in the photo)

Former Minneapolis Lakers legend and NBA Hall of Famer Vern Mikkelsen has died at the age of 85, according to Patrick Reusse of the Star Tribune.

"He passed away peacefully," Mikkelsen's son, John, said, via the Pioneer Press. "He was a prostate cancer survivor of 11 years, then the cancer started moving three, four months ago.He lived a full live right to the end. There's no tragedy here, but a lot of joy. He was my best friend."

Old school basketball fans and the hardcore fans that study NBA history will without a doubt remember his name.

Mikkelson, who grew up in Askov, Minnesota, received a scholarship to play basketball at Hamline University in St. Paul when he was just 16-years-old. He starred for the Pipers from 1945-48.

He was selected as a territorial pick by the Lakers in the 1949 NBA Draft and he went on to star in the NBA from 1949-59. From then on, he helped the Lakers become the NBA's first dynasty.

The 6-foot-7, 230-pound forward was terribly difficult to handle on the hardwood. He still holds the NBA record with 127 career disqualifications. At one point he led the NBA in disqualifications and fouls three straight seasons.

Mikkelsen, George Mikan and Jim Pollard formed one of the greatest "Big Three" players in NBA history.

The six-time NBA All-Star was voted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 1995.

He was also an ironman. According to Wikipedia, Mikkelson played in 798 of 800 career games.

Reusse documented a false death report of Mikkelsen that happened four years ago. It's an enlightening story that allows basketball fans of all generations to capture what kind of man Mikkelsen was.

Next Up

Sergio Romo

Twins decline 2021 option on Sergio Romo

The Twins begin a potential overhaul in the bullpen.

high school football

'Scalpel approach' gives MN schools chance to keep playing sports

County infection rates are no longer the only thing that matters.

CJ-AHyggeHoliday-Photo2

With the help of HVAC, Circus Juventas will host its first holiday shows

After months of canceled classes and shows, Circus Juventas is hosting its first ever holiday show, with safety precautions.

Cameron Dantzler

Vikings send Cameron Dantzler to COVID-19/reserve list

Dantzler's placement leaves the Vikings paper-thin at cornerback heading into Green Bay.

peterson fischbach

Elections 2020 preview: 7th Congressional District

Will Collin Peterson hang on for yet another term?

Zimmer and Hunter

Zimmer explains why he called Hunter's neck injury a 'tweak'

The coach also said Dalvin Cook should return from injury this week.

magazines

60 charged in magazine scam that netted $300M

It's being called the largest elder fraud scheme in the country.

Screen Shot 2020-10-28 at 10.30.23 AM

The Star Tribune is shutting down City Pages

The free newspaper was bought by the Star Tribune in 2015.

billy's on grand

Coronavirus: Billy's on Grand will close for winter

The restaurant is among a growing list of eateries to close for the winter months.

Related