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George Duke, seen here at the 2013 New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival in May, died in August at the age of 67.

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Ossie Schectman, the former New York Knicks guard who scored the league's first basket, died Tuesday, July 30. NBA Commissioner David Stern called Schectman a pioneer, "Playing for the New York Knickerbockers in the 1946-47 season, Ossie scored the league's first basket, which placed him permanently in the annals of NBA history.

On behalf of the entire NBA family, our condolences go out to Ossie's family."Actress Eileen Brennan, who earned an Oscar nomination for her role as the exasperated drill captain in the movie "Private Benjamin," died Sunday, July 28, at her Burbank, California, home after a battle with bladder cancer. Actor Dennis Farina, a Chicago ex-cop whose tough-as-nails persona enlivened roles on either side of the law, died Monday, July 22. Above, Farina shoots a scene as Detective Joe Fontana in "Law & Order" in 2004.

Singer Bobby "Blue" Bland, who helped create the modern soul-blues sound, died June 23 at age 83. Marc Rich, the commodities trader and Glencore founder whom President Bill Clinton pardoned on his final day in office, died June 26 at age 78 in Switzerland.

Rich often was credited with the creation of modern oil trading.

Ex-heavyweight champion Tommy Morrison died September 1, according to his former promoter Tony Holden. Morrison defeated George Foreman in 1993 for the World Boxing Organization's heavyweight title.