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Lew Massey remembered with laughter, tears

A community of family, friends and teammates said farewell to Lew Massey on Saturday.

Massey, the Charlotte 49ers’ second all-time leading scorer, died Jan. 23 at his home in Charlotte. He was 57.

“There should be no tears here, this is a celebration of Lew’s life,” said Cedric Maxwell, Massey’s 49ers’ teammate from 1975-77, at a service attended by several hundred people at H.O. Graham Metropolitan Presbyterian Church in west Charlotte.

But tears did flow. There was laughter, too.

Massey’s younger brother Marcus recalled being a student at Bruns Avenue Elementary, and his famous brother coming to school with 49ers teammate Chad Kinch as show-and-tell.

“When they walked into that class, you would have thought Scottie Pippen and Michael Jordan had come in there,” said Marcus, still with pride in his voice.

Maxwell was one of several teammates at the service – including Jeff Gruber, Lee Whitfield and Kevin King – who played with Massey on Charlotte’s 1977 Final Four team. The coach of those 49ers, Lee Rose, was also in attendance, as was Charlotte athletics director Judy Rose.

Maxwell, now a radio commentator for the Boston Celtics, recalled going around Charlotte with Massey – who grew up in Pineville and attended South Mecklenburg High – during their days as 49ers.

“People would constantly come up and say hi to Lew,” said Maxwell. “He’d say to me, ‘I don’t know that guy.’

“Well, everybody knew Lew. Charlotte loved Lew.”

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