Lance Blanks, Former Phoenix Suns General Manager, Dead at 56

Lance Blanks, a former professional basketball player, ESPN analyst, and once General Manager of the Phoenix Suns, has died. He was 56.

Blanks, who played three NBA seasons following a remarkable collegiate career at the University of Texas, passed away on Wednesday, May 3, in Dallas, Texas, multiple sources, including TMZ, confirmed on Thursday.

A cause and manner of death have not been revealed, as a rep for the Dallas County Medical Examiner's Office in Texas told the outlet that exam results are still pending.

Blanks was known as a basketball legend at the University of Texas, where he played in 1988 and 1989. His unforgettable performance on the court would later get him inducted into the Texas Longhorns Hall of Honor in 2007.

Following his collegiate career, Blanks played for the Detroit Pistons and Minnesota Timberwolves during his three years in the NBA. He then played overseas before eventually returning to the U.S. to work as an executive in the NBA.

Blanks held various NBA jobs, including the Director of Scouting for the San Antonio Spurs, Assistant General Manager for the Cleveland Cavaliers,  General Manager of the Phoenix Suns, and most recently, a Scout for the Los Angeles Clippers.

"Lance was a light for all those who knew him. It’s been a privilege to have called him one of my closest friends," said Joe Dumars, the Executive Vice President of the NBA, in a statement on the organization's website. "I'm eternally grateful for all the support he has shown me throughout the years. His legacy will be carried on, not only by his family, but by all those whose lives he touched for the better. You will be dearly missed, brother."

"My dad was my person. He was my teacher, my idol, my best friend. The love I have for him is simply immeasurable," said his daughter Riley Blanks Reed. "He carried his family and friends on his selfless shoulders and he was the wisest man I’ll ever know. The path ahead is dark without him but he once told me that he trusted my sister and me to carry the torch of our family’s legacy. And we will."

"My heart aches for the tragic loss of my daddy. He was our father, our rock, our superhero—the one who was there when we needed him most," Bryn Blanks Lewis stated. "Life will never be the same without him. I rest in knowing that his indomitable legacy and infectious commitment to family and community will live on forever."

His mom also made a statement following the news of her son's death, telling him, "My child, mama loves you," per the NBA website.

Lance is survived by his mother, Clarice, brother Sidney Jr., the mother of his two daughters, Renee, his daughters, Riley and Bryn, and granddaughter, Isabel.