Five-time NBA all-star Rudy LaRusso died in Los Angeles Friday, July 9, 2004, after a long fight with Parkinson's disease. He was 66. Born in Brooklyn, N.Y., LaRusso was a two-time All-Ivy League selection. He led Dartmouth to its last conference championships in 1958 and 1959. LaRusso helped the Los Angeles Lakers reach the NBA finals three times in the early 1960s. The power forward started with the Lakers in Minneapolis in 1959 and moved with the team to Los Angeles. He averaged 15.6 points and 9.4 rebounds over a 10-year career. For nearly eight seasons, the 6-foot-7, 220-pound LaRusso complemented Elgin Baylor's acrobatics in the Lakers' starting frontcourt. "Rudy and I go all the way back to our days together in Minneapolis," Baylor recalled. "He was one of my favorite teammates ever, and we had some great times. He was a wonderful person and a good friend, respected by everyone."
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