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Former Laker Dennis Hamilton dies at 68

June 20, 2012|By Chuck Schilken
  • Dennis Hamilton with the Lakers during the 1967-68 season.
Dennis Hamilton with the Lakers during the 1967-68 season. (Lakers )

Former NBA and ABA player Dennis Hamilton died Monday night in Chandler, Ariz. He was 68.

Hamilton played for the Los Angeles Lakers in 1967-68 and with the Atlanta Hawks in 1968-69. He played a season for the ABA's Pittsburgh Pipers and another for the Kentucky Colonels in 1970-71.

Though Hamilton wasn’t with the Lakers long, he proved himself to be quite dependable during his one season  in Los Angeles.

In his 44 games with the team, the 6-foot-8 forward made all 13 of the free throws he tried (he appeared in two playoff games but did not shoot any free throws).

In addition, Hamilton and teammate Gail Goodrich were the guys Coach Butch van Breda Kolff depended on to coach the team for the second half of a game in which Van Breda Kolff was ejected. The Lakers won that game, and for years afterward Hamilton had a newspaper clipping about that game hanging on the wall in his home.

Hamilton was a three-year starter at Arizona State, scoring more than 1,000 points and posting the fourth-highest free-throw percentage in school history, making 81.3% from 1963-66.

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