FILE - In this Oct. 31, 1959, file photo, St. Louis Hawks' Slater Martin (22) leaps to make a basket in the first period of an NBA basketball game against the Cincinnati Royals in St, Louis. Martin, the Hall of Fame guard who won four NBA titles with the Minneapolis Lakers and one with the St. Louis, died Thursday, Oct. 18, 2012. He was 86. (AP Photo/File)
Updated: November 21, 2012 6:11AM
HOUSTON — Slater Martin, the defensive-minded Hall of Fame guard who won four NBA titles with the Minneapolis Lakers and one with the St. Louis Hawks, died Thursday. He was 86.
Mr. Martin died at a skilled nursing facility in Houston after a sudden illness, daughter-in-law Becky Martin said. She said he was admitted to the nursing home Monday.
Mr. Martin was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame in 1982. He went into the University of Texas’ Longhorn Hall of Honor in 1962, entered the Texas Sports Hall of Fame in 1964, and the school retired his No. 15 in 2009.
“I think he’s the best defensive guard that ever lived. That includes all the ones right now,” said Sid Hartman, the 92-year-old sports columnist for the Star Tribune of Minneapolis who served as the de-facto general manager of the Lakers.
The 5-foot-10 Martin averaged 9.8 points and 4.2 assists in 745 NBA regular-season game with Minneapolis, New York and St. Louis. He averaged 10 points and 3.2 assists in 92 playoff games, winning titles with Minneapolis in 1950, ’52, ’53 and ’54 and St. Louis in 1958.