NEW YORK (WFAN) — When Anthony Mason passed away over the weekend, the New York Knicks lost a man who personified the guts and toughness of the mid-90s teams.

Fans lost one of their favorite players.

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WFAN’s Craig Carton lost a friend. The “Boomer & Carton” show lost someone always willing to make an appearance for charity.

Carton and co-host Boomer Esiason opened Monday’s show remembering Mason, whose heart problems turned out to be too much to overcome. He died Saturday morning at 48 years old.

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“My interaction with him on a very personal level was that he was a great guy,” Carton said. “Here’s a guy that, for my son, was always available for the world of Tourettes. Doesn’t play golf; came to golf tournaments. Doesn’t play softball; came to our softball games. (Mason) became a good friend of mine. I miss him already. Our foundation (Tic Toc Stop) misses him. My son misses him.

“That’s how I view it. Anthony Mason, while not perfect by a long shot, represented everything that New York thinks about itself. … There’s good and bad that comes with that. … I loved him. He was a great guy. He’s missed already.”

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Sharing the frontcourt with Charles Oakley and Patrick Ewing, Mason was one of the key intimidators of the Pat Riley era Knicks, averaging 7.6 points during New York’s run to Game 7 of the NBA Finals in 1994 and winning the league’s Sixth Man of the Year Award the following season.

“On the basketball court, he was a great Knick,” Esiason said. “He was a symbol of that team — of those Pat Riley teams — much like John Starks is a symbol of those teams, of hard work, dedication and playing defense and getting in your face.”

Mason said last year on WFAN that would have liked a job with the franchise to help turn things around: “We imposed our will. We were going to make it hard on you. We were going to be up in your face the whole game and we wanted you to know that. People dreaded coming into the Garden, and that’s the thing you want to get back to.”

He had been hospitalized after suffering a heart attack in mid-February.

“There’s not a Knick on this team that could have survived being a Knick in ’94, ’95, back then,” Carton said Monday. “You know?”

Esiason replied: “Not even close.”

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