John Starks has a message for former New York Knicks teammate Anthony Mason

Back in his time, Anthony Mason was among the best-passing big men in the NBA.

Brad Mangin/NBAE/Getty Images

Anthony Mason and John Starks played together with the New York Knicks for five years in the mid-1990s. Now, as Mason recovers from multiple heart surgeries, Starks has a message for his former teammate. From Zach Braziller of the New York Post

“He was a hard-nosed player. We came to the Knicks around the same time and he fought for everything he got in this league as well as growing up,” Starks said during the 16th Annual Knicks Bowl at Chelsea Piers. “He’s fighting right now for his life, and I believe he’s going to pull through.

“I think I was at a game when I heard about it. It was a shock. He’s still a young man. Unfortunately these things do occur in life. There’s no rhyme or reason why it happens, but it’s something he continues to fight. His family continues to pray. We continue to pray. It’s just tough right now. Mase is the type of guy who’s going to fight every inch of the way. He’s going to pull through this.”

It’s been two weeks since Mason was hospitalized with congestive heart failure. His son, Antoine, a basketball player at Auburn, updated on his father’s condition recently.

"I actually spoke to him today," he said to the site two days ago. "He can’t talk yet, but he can hear things and respond by blinking and shaking his head and things like that. When I talked to him, my mom and him, they’re telling me he’s getting better."