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Ex-Piston, first black NBA player Earl Lloyd passed away

He was 86.

Photo: Pistons publicity photo, Pistons publicity photo

The first black player in NBA history died on Thursday at the age of 86. No details were released as to the cause of death.

Lloyd played with the Pistons in 1958-1960 after spending a season with the Washington Capitols and six with the Syracuse Nationals. He was also the head coach of the Pistons in 1971-1972 and nine games the next season.

The Detroit Pistons released the following statement on Friday after news of Lloyd's passing:

"We are truly saddened to learn of the passing of NBA pioneer and former Detroit Piston Earl Lloyd. Earl paved the way for many as the first African-American to play in the NBA and later became the league's first-ever African-American assistant coach as a member of the Pistons coaching staff in 1968. Our franchise will always remember the impact and contributions Earl made to the game of basketball and to the Detroit Pistons as a player, head coach and television analyst. We extend our deepest condolences to the Lloyd family during this difficult time."

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Graphic via Fox Sports Detroit