NEW YORK (WFAN) — Mike Francesa opened his show Wednesday paying homage to Brooklyn native and Syracuse basketball great Dwayne “Pearl” Washington, who died Wednesday at the age of 52.

“Pearl had this dual legend. He was almost a playground legend and then a player who went to Syracuse and obviously had a great deal of success there early in his career,” the WFAN host said. “At times, those teams might have disappointed, but obviously the showmanship part of it was never a disappointment.”

Francesa added that Washington played significant roles during the heyday of the Big East Conference and building New York City’s reputation as a point guard factory. Other standout point guards from the Big Apple include Kenny Anderson, Stephon Marbury, Bob Cousy, Kenny Smith, Mark Jackson and Nate Archibald.

“(Washington) never became the pro that the forecast was — greatness was forecast for him from a very young age. But this direct lineage and (was) probably as much a part of the lore of the New York City point guard as any of these,” Francesa said.

Washington, who played for the New Jersey Nets and Miami Heat in the NBA, succumbed to cancer nearly a year after being diagnosed with a brain tumor.

To listen to the full segment, click on the audio player above.

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