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NBA World Pays Tribute To Former Utah Jazz Star

A general view of the Utah Jazz' stadium.

SALT LAKE CITY, UT - NOVEMBER 4: General view of the former EnergySolutions Arena which has been renamed Vivint Smart Home Arena, where the Portland Trail Blazers will play the Utah Jazz on November 4, 2015 in Salt Lake City, Utah. (Photo by Gene Sweeney Jr/Getty Images)

The NBA world was dealt unfortunate news this Saturday afternoon, as former Utah Jazz star Mark Eaton has passed away at the age of 64.

Eaton was a fan favorite for the Jazz due to his contributions on the defensive side of the floor. He was named the NBA Defensive Player of the Year in 1985 and 1989.

Even after his playing career was over, Eaton found a way to make an impact for his community. Not only was he a color commentator for the Jazz, he was a partner for a Salt Lake City-area restaurant named Tuscany.

While the news of Eaton’s tragic passing has left a lot of NBA fans speechless, several people went on Twitter to share their fondest memories of the former All-Star.

"Mark Eaton was, truly, a gentle giant," David Aldridge of The Athletic tweeted. "One of the nicest guys ever, as well as a tough and physical center for those great Jazz teams. Had one of the best meals of my life at his restaurant in SLC. He also was a huge advocate for retired players. RIP & condolences to his family."

Jeremiah Jensen of KSL Sports was heartbroken by this news. He had nothing but great things to say about Eaton and the work he did for Summit County. "I’m crushed. Mark Eaton was a giant on the court and a giant in our community. He’s inspired so many people to strive for greatness. He was a such a kind man. I can’t believe this."

With the playoffs in full swing, the Jazz will most likely honor Eaton at some point during their first-round series with the Grizzlies.

Our thoughts are with the Eaton family during this time.