NBA legend Archibald undergoes heart-transplant surgery

Former NBA great Nate "Tiny" Archibald recently underwent a heart transplant, according to fellow Hall of Famer Rick Barry.

Former NBA superstar Nate “Tiny” Archibald underwent heart-transplant surgery recently, according to a report by another former NBA legend, Rick Barry.

The 69-year-old Archibald has been living with an incurable heart ailment for more than a year. He underwent a health screening in December 2016 that diagnosed him with amyloidosis, an irreversible protein buildup that prevents his heart from properly pumping blood to his body.

The 6-foot-1, 150-pound left-handed Archibald, a six-time NBA All-Star in his 13-season career, averaged 18.8 points and 7.4 assists per game for his career, winning an NBA championship in 1981 with Larry Bird’s Boston Celtics.

Playing for the Kansas City Kings, Archibald led the NBA in scoring and assists in the 1972-73 season, becoming the only player to win the titles in both categories in the same season. His scoring average of 34.0 points per game broke the NBA record for a guard. His 910 assists that season (11.4 assists per game) was also an NBA record at the time, breaking Guy Rodgers’ mark of 908. He was named the Sporting News NBA MVP that season.

Archibald was inducted to the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame in 1991. He was named one of the 50 greatest players in NBA history in 1997, an event celebrated at the 1997 All-Star Game at Gund Arena in Cleveland.

After his health screening in 2016, Archibald began working with the league to provide better healthcare and screenings for all retired players who had a minimum of three years’ service time in the NBA.

His efforts helped pave the way to a new healthcare policy being instituted in 2017.