Earl Francis Lloyd (April 3, 1928 – February 26, 2015) was an American professional basketball player and coach. He was the first black player to have played a game in the National Basketball Association. An All-American player at West Virginia State University, Lloyd helped lead the Syracuse Nationals to the NBA Feb 27, 2015 · Earl Lloyd, the first black player in NBA history and a former Detroit Pistons player and coach, died Thursday. He was 86. The Detroit Pistons praised Lloyd for his work and standing in the league ... Earl Lloyd, the first black player in NBA history, died Thursday. He was 86. Lloyd’s alma mater, West Virginia State, confirmed the death. It did not provide details. Lloyd made his NBA debut in ... The 12 best NBA players never to win a ring. ... Winning a championship in the NBA is more important to an individual player's legacy than it is in any other sport. ... and his first-ever NBA ... Lloyd helped the Syracuse Nationals win the 1955 NBA title, joining teammate Jim Tucker as the first black players to play on a championship team. The 6-foot-5 forward averaged 8.4 points and 6.4 rebounds in 560 regular-season games in nine seasons with Washington, Syracuse and Detroit. Oct 16, 2019 · Chuck Cooper was the first black player to be drafted into the NBA, while Earl Lloyd was the first to actually play in a game (albeit only one day before Cooper). Both are in the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.