Earl Lloyd, who became the first black player in the NBA nearly 65 years ago, died Thursday at age 86.
Lloyd had a long career that stretched from West Virginia State to basketball's Hall of Fame. He once told a young man who thanked him for being a pioneer, "Man, you owe me absolutely nothing."
As a player, the 6-foot-5-inch Lloyd was nicknamed The Big Cat. He was drafted in the same year as other black players, but he was the first to play in the regular season, for the then-Washington Capitols.