HomeSportsMark Eaton, Utah Jazz Legend, Dies at 64

Mark Eaton, Utah Jazz Legend, Dies at 64

by Matthew Wilson
Photo credit: Sporting News via Getty Images

Former NBA All-Star and Utah Jazz legend Mark Eaton has passed away. The former athlete reportedly died on Friday night (May 28). Eaton was only 64-years-old.

Eaton’s team announced his death. But according to KUTV, officials haven’t released a cause of death. Authorities said that no foul play or murder is suspected in regards to his death. But the current cause is unknown. What is known is that Eaton left his home in Summit County, Utah on Friday night. He planned to go for a bike ride around 8 p.m.

But during the trip, Eaton reportedly passed away and never returned home. The NBA athlete entertained a generation of fans and stood out as a star on the Utah Jazz. In fact, Eaton ended up becoming one of the defining players for the franchise, playing his entire career with the team.

As a result of his death, fans flooded social media with remembrances to Eaton and his long career with the team.

One user wrote, “The basketball community has lost a Legend. Our hearts are with the family, friends and fans of Mark Eaton.”

Former NBA player Rex Chapman also wrote, “Mark Eaton was one heck of a nice guy. A mountain of a man. Rest, Mark.”

Mark Eaton and His NBA Career

Mark Eaton first entered the NBA during the early 1980s. His large size, 7-foot-4, made him an exciting prospect for any team in the sport. But Eaton landed at the Utah Jazz during the 1982 NBA Draft. He first established his dominance in college, playing at UCLA. For the Jazz, he stayed with the team from 1982 to 1993, more than a decade.

During his career, Eaton became a five-time All-Defensive First Team Selection and a two-time Defensive Player of the Year. He was also a four-time block champion and made the All-Star team once as well. Eaton ended up dominating the defensive end with 3,064 blocks. He holds the record for most blocks in a single season. Eaton had 456 blocks.

In fact, he’s listed as fifth all-time for that statistic. Only Hakeem Olajuwon, Dikembe Mutombo, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Artis Gilmore stand in front of him. Additionally, he tied Tree Rollins for the only former player with Top 10 career blocks to not make it into the Hall of Fame.

After he finished with the NBA, he ended up moving into the realm of motivational speaking. Eaton also wrote a book and became a mentor to current Jazz star Rudy Gobert as well.