Katz was part of a group that bought the Nets from the "Secaucus Seven" in 1998 and donated his stake to a charitable trust called the Community Youth Organization, a trust which provided social services to impoverished New Jersey cities, and remained a shareholder in the team after selling his stake to Bruce Ratner.
He was also a major partner in YankeeNets and an investor in YES Network, and the former principal owner of the New Jersey Devils.
The Nets organization released this statement from the organization at large on Katz's passing:
"The Brooklyn Nets organization was shocked and saddened to learn of the tragic death of Lewis Katz, an exceptional man who was the visual face of the ownership group during the most successful period of the Nets NBA franchise. Besides his love of the game, Lewis was deeply committed to the community and leaves an enduring record of philanthropic initiatives. Our sincere condolences, thoughts and prayers go out to his family."
The NBA released a statement from NBA commissioner Adam Silver:
"All of us at the NBA were extremely saddened to learn of the tragic, sudden death of former Nets owner Lewis Katz. Lewis was a trusted friend and valued member of the NBA family. He was a visionary businessman who touched the lives of so many with his tireless pursuit of innovation and enterprise, as well as his deep commitment to his family, friends and community. Among his many accomplishments were having led his Nets teams in 2002 and 2003 to the NBA Finals for the first time in franchise history. I send my deepest condolences to the Katz family during this very difficult time."
Katz was 72.
Philadelphia Inquirer -- Lewis Katz, co-owner of The Inquirer, dies in plane crash
Ed. Note: this originally ran on May 4, 2013, and has been updated.
This won't come as a surprise, and if it does you don't even have a rudimentary understanding of the NBA, but the Nets don't have as illustrious a history as the Los Angeles Lakers. Shocker. The Lakers are an NBA team from the league's second season in 1947, while the Nets are a 1960s ABA team turned NBA expansion franchise in the late 70s. The Lakers have Wilt, West, Kareem, Magic, Kobe and Shaq. The Nets have Jason Kidd and three seasons of Dr. J in the ABA. The Lakers have 16 NBA championships and the Nets have 2 ABA titles.
So when you learn that the Nets have only been in seven "Winner Take All" games in franchise history to the Lakers' 26, it shouldn't surprise you. By "Winner Take All," we mean the final game of a series, that the winner of the game wins the series. That's either the fifth game of a best-of-five series, which the NBA used to decide first round series from 1984-2002, or the more popular seventh game of a best-of-seven series.
Starting with game seven of the 1970 ABA first round against the Kentucky Colonels, here's a history of all seven "Winner Take All" games in Nets franchise History, in which the Nets have a 4-3 record overall.
|Start Here: April 29, 1970|
UPDATE: An initial report that a body found in Far Rockaway Beach was that of former NBA player Quinton Ross was incorrect, the Post said. The initial report is below.
Quinton Ross, who played for the New Jersey Nets during 2010-2011 season, was found Monday on the Far Rockaway Beach, according to the New York Post. He was 32.
From The Post:
The body of Quinton Ross, 32, was stuffed into a trash bag that was hidden in a patch of weeds midway between the water and the boardwalk at Beach 40th Street, cops said.
A law-enforcement source said he had been reported missing to the 103rd Precinct in Jamaica, Queens, on Thursday.
Ross’ aunt, with whom he’s been living recently, said her mother “saw these men chasing him” before he disappeared.
“People have been calling for Quinton asking about a car or getting some money, but I tell them he doesn’t live here,” Stachia Jacobs of Far Rockaway said near the crime scene.
“Why did they bury him? What could he have done? Those bastards!” she wailed.
Ross’ mom’s fiance said cops located his body by tracking his cell phone and identified him through his clothing.
“It looks like he was murdered and buried in a shallow grave,” said Noel Moses, 61.
It’s unclear if there were any signs of trauma on Ross’ body. Cops said the disposal of his body raised suspicions of foul play, and were awaiting autopsy results from the Medical Examiner’s Office.
Ross had stints with the Clippers, Grizzlies, Mavericks and Wizards in addition to his time with the Nets during his seven-year NBA career. Ross earned a reputation as a stout wing defender, playing valuable minutes against Carmelo Anthony during the Clippers' playoff series vs. the Denver Nuggets in 2006.
Brooklyn Nets center Jason Collins speaks during a news conference prior to an NBA basketball game against the Los Angeles Lakers, Sunday, Feb. 23, 2014, in Los Angeles. Collins signed a 10-day contract with the Brooklyn Nets earlier Sunday and was to be in uniform for their game in Los Angeles against the Lakers. The 35-year-old center revealed at the end of last season he is gay, but he was a free agent and had remained unsigned. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)
Stephen Colbert clearly idolizes Dr. J but not so much that he wasnt willing to humiliate him in a suspenseful game of scrunched-up-paper basket-ball. Erving is out flacking his insteresting-sounding new autobiography:
Saturday afternoon’s 142-134 triple-overtime loss to the Bulls in Game Four set a Nets franchise playoff record for points, because the basketball Gods have a cruel sense of humor. Or, it could have something to do with it being only the second triple overtime playoff game in Nets history.
Regardless of the cause, the loss was painful. Even though the wound of Game Four remains fresh, it’s never too early to contextualize this playoff OT game. In the 46 year ABA/NBA history of the Nets franchise, the team has played in eleven playoff games with bonus basketball. From three ABA overtime victories to yesterday’s heartbreaker, the Nets have a 7-4 all-time record in playoff overtime games. Here's a brief history of all eleven, starting with a victory over the Kentucky Colonels in April of 1970, and including Saturday's (expletive deleted) loss to Chicago.
|Start Here: April 19, 1970|
Despite an underwhelming NBA career, O'Bannon had a studly college run in Bruin Blue. The UCLA star won the 1995 John R. Wooden Award -- basketball's version of the Heisman -- en route to a national championship and NCAA Final Four Most Outstanding Player honors. Now that it's NCAA Tournament time, Dave D'Alessandro of the Newark Star Ledger caught up with the 9th overall pick from the 1995 draft to discuss his NBA days, life as a car salesman, and challenging the economic system of a multi-billion dollar industry.... MORE →
The 2002-03 New Jersey Nets, who went 49-33, won ten consecutive playoff games at one point, and lost in six games to the San Antonio Spurs.
It's been a decade since that New Jersey Nets team went as far as any NBA Nets team has ever gone, so we decided to ask: where are they now?