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Pour a sip for former Nugget Orlando Woolridge

The last sentence may say it all: used the juice and died at 52.

"Orlando Woolridge, the rugged forward who carved out a reputation over 13 NBA seasons as a scoring specialist and one of the original alley-oop artists, died late Thursday at his parents' home in Mansfield, La. He was 52.

The 6-foot-9 Woolridge was the sixth overall pick by the Chicago Bulls in 1981 after starring at Notre Dame in college and Mansfield High School in Louisiana.

Known for his high-flying dunks and ability to throw down lob passes in the open court, Woolridge played for the Bulls, Los Angeles Lakers, New Jersey, Philadelphia, Denver, Milwaukee and Detroit, and also coached the Los Angeles Sparks of the WNBA. He averaged 16.0 points in just more than 28 minutes per game, quickly emerging as an offensive spark plug no matter if he was in the starting lineup or coming off the bench.

He participated in one of the greatest slam dunk contests of all time in 1985, competing against Michael Jordan, Dominique Wilkins and Julius Erving, among others, and he averaged 22.9 points per game for the Bulls in 1984-85, the last player to lead Chicago in scoring before Jordan took over.

"He was a good person," said Timberwolves assistant T.R. Dunn, who played with Woolridge for one season in Denver. "He was a really good offensive player, athletic, could run the floor, score the basketball. He had a pretty solid career. Just a fun-loving, athletic guy. Just sad news."

Woolridge was suspended for violating the league's substance abuse policy in 1987 and spent time in a treatment facility."

Write respectfully of your SB Nation community and yourself.

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