Anthony Mason during the 1994 NBA playoffs (Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images)

Anthony Mason during the 1994 NBA playoffs (Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images)

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — The Knicks community is rallying around Anthony Mason after the former bruising forward reportedly suffered a major heart attack.

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Mason, 48, is “fighting (for his) life” and will need a heart transplant if he survives, according to former New York Post columnist Peter Vecsey. Several media outlets confirmed the news late Wednesday.

Mason had been dealing with heart troubles for the past year and was at a hospital for testing “when (the) attack occurred,” Vecsey tweeted.

An unidentified ex-teammate “described his condition as grave,” the New York Daily News reported. The Knicks haven’t released an official statement, though they acknowledged the reports with a message of support on Twitter.

His oldest son Anthony Jr., who played for St. John’s, tweeted his appreciation for the outpouring of prayers for his father’s recovery. .

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Known for his rugged style of play, Mason averaged 9.9 points per game during his five seasons with the Knicks. He averaged 7.6 points during New York’s playoff run to Game 7 of the NBA Finals in 1994. He then won the league’s Sixth Man of the Year Award the following season.

Mason, who played in college at Tennessee State University, broke into the NBA in 1989 with the New Jersey Nets and ended up playing for six teams before retiring following the 2002-03 season with the Milwaukee Bucks.

For his career, Mason averaged 10.9 points, 8.3 rebounds and shot 51 percent from the floor.

Mason said last year on WFAN that he had been seeking a job with the Knicks.

His other son, Antoine, plays guard at Auburn.

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