Carl Braun, an
All-Star With the Knicks, Dies at 82
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His death, at a hospital in Stuart, was announced by his daughter Susan Braun.
Playing for the Knicks at the old Madison Square Garden, Braun led them in scoring in his first seven seasons, relying on a two-handed set shot launched from above his head. He teamed in the backcourt with Dick McGuire, a brilliant playmaker, who died on Feb. 3 at 84.
When Braun joined the Knicks out of Colgate University in 1947, the N.B.A., known then as the Basketball Association of America, was in its second season. College basketball ruled New York, and the Knicks played some of their games at the 69th Regiment Armory court, at Lexington Avenue and 25th Street, because they were hardly likely to fill the seats at the Garden.
But Braun, 6 feet 5 inches and 180 pounds or so, could put on a show. On Dec. 6 of his rookie season, he set a league scoring record with 47 points in a road game against the Providence Steamrollers.
Braun emerged as the Knicks first star, playing for Coach Joe Lapchick with teams that included long-remembered figures like McGuire, Harry Gallatin, Sweetwater Clifton, Vince Boryla and Ernie Vandeweghe. He was an All-Star every season from 1953 to 1957.
Braun coached the Knicks during his final two seasons with the team, then joined the Boston Celtics and played on their 1962 N.B.A. champions.
Playing for the Knicks from 1947 to 1961, except for two years of Army service, Braun averaged 13.5 points per game. Although he played the first half of his career before the advent of the 24-second shot clock, which changed the professional game from a plodding affair to a high-scoring spectacle, his 10,449 points as a Knick puts him fifth on the teams career list. He was often among the top 10 scorers in the league. Last March he was honored by the Knicks as one of what they called their franchise Legends.
Braun was born in Brooklyn and moved with his family to Garden City on Long Island as a teenager. He pitched briefly in the Yankees minor league farm system, but a sore arm ended his baseball career.
After retiring from basketball, Braun was a Wall Street stockbroker. He retired to Florida about 25 years ago.
In addition to his daughter Susan, he is survived by his wife, Joan; his daughters Patricia, Nancy and Carol; and six grandchildren.
When Braun was starring for the Knicks, the N.B.A. still had franchises, like the Syracuse Nationals, that played in medium-size cities in small arenas where the fans were intensely hostile to visiting players.
In the winter, for the people of Syracuse, basketball was their life, Braun told George Kalinsky for his book The New York Knicks: The Official 50th Anniversary Celebration.
Those folks were merciless. I can remember running down the court and having cigarette butts flipped at me as I went by. Live ash that got me in the legs and smarted.