Detroit Pistons owner dies

March 14, 2009 at 12:47 AM
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DETROIT, March 14 (UPI) -- Bill Davidson, owner of the NBA Detroit Pistons since 1974, died Friday, a team spokesman said. He was 86.

No cause of death was disclosed but Davidson's health had been failing the past couple of years, The Detroit News reported Friday night.

Under his ownership, the Pistons won NBA titles in 1989, 1990 and 2004. Davidson was enshrined in the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame last year.

He also was the former owner of the NHL's Tampa Bay Lightning and is the only person to have owned NBA and NHL teams that won league championships in the same season.

"We are all deeply saddened by the news of Mr. D's passing," Detroit Pistons Coach Michael Curry said. "He's been a great owner who genuinely cared for players, coaches and employees.

"He will not only be remembered as a great owner but also as a person who made a difference in many people's lives."

Davidson is the second NBA franchise owner to die this year. Utah Jazz owner Larry Miller died Feb. 20 at age 64, following a lengthy fight against type 2 diabetes.

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