Orlando Woolridge passed away at his parents home late Thursday night in Louisiana at the age of 52. He had a chronic heart condition.
Woolridge was a high flying athletic player during 13 seasons spent with seven different teams over the course of his career. He was drafted sixth overall by the Chicago Bulls and played for the team for five seasons. He left Chicago when the Bulls decided to focus on running their offense through Michael Jordan since they had very similar playing styles.
In 1988-89 after two seasons with the New Jersey Nets, Woolridge decided to head to Los Angeles and come off the bench for the Lakers.
“I just love it when we go up in the transition game, up and down the court, Magic (Johnson) looking for the open guy,” Woolridge told Lakers broadcaster Chick Hearn shortly after joining the team in 1988. ” I get excited when we start playing like that. That’s the way I love playing.”
He averaged just under 10 points per game on the L.A. Lakers squad that got swept by the Pistons in the NBA Finals in 1989.
His best season was in 1990-91 when he played for the Denver Nuggets, averaging 25.1 points per game and 6.8 rebounds per game. For his career, he averaged 16.3 points and 4.3 rebounds in 851 games.
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