Ex-Lakers great Mikkelsen dies

AP

Vern Mikkelsen, a Hall of Fame basketball player who won four NBA titles with the Minneapolis Lakers, has died. He was 85.

Mikkelsen died on Thursday night surrounded by family, the Los Angeles Lakers announced on Friday.

He was a six-time All-Star during 10 years with the Lakers, teaming with George Mikan and Jim Pollard in a frontcourt that to this day is considered one of the best the league has ever seen.

Though he was known for his hard-nosed defense, Mikkelsen averaged 14.4 points and 9.4 rebounds in his career and emerged as one of the first true power forwards in the league.