While not an influence on the very style of the game like recently departed teammate Dick McGuire, Carl Braun was one of the early Knick heroes. His tenure in the Knicks’ world was much shorter than McGuire too (although then again, that’s true of every other Knick ever). However, when McGuire played, he needed someone to pass to, and more often than not, it was Braun. As ESPN notes, Braun was one of the original greats:
Carl Braun, who was chosen for five consecutive All-Star games as a member of the New York Knicks, died Wednesday of natural causes. He was 82.
Braun died in Florida, the team said. He is the second former Knicks star to die in a week. Hall of Famer Dick McGuire, Braun’s teammate, passed away Feb. 3.
“Carl Braun was the first superstar of the New York Knicks and a cornerstone of our franchise’s early success,” team president Donnie Walsh said in a statement. “Watching him play at the old Garden was a privilege for us New Yorkers in the 1940s and ’50s. He is a true legend in our sport and he will be missed.”
Braun was an All-Star from 1953 to 1957 — he missed the 1956 game because of injury — and retired as the team’s career scoring leader with 10,449 points. He’s still in fifth place on the career list behind Patrick Ewing, Walt Frazier, Willis Reed and Allan Houston.
“As a young New York Knicks fan in the ’50s, I spent hours trying to emulate Carl’s patented over-the-head shot,” NBA commissioner David Stern said. “Carl was one of the NBA’s early great shooters, an All-Star fixture on those Knicks teams and, most importantly, a great friend to all who knew him.”
Born on Sept. 25, 1927, in Brooklyn, Braun also spent two seasons as the Knicks’ player/coach before ending his career in 1961-62 with the NBA champion Boston Celtics.
Braun is survived by his wife, Joan, four daughters and six grandchildren.