From his seat behind the hoop at Vivint Arena, Dr. Richard Anderson very much became part of the fabric of the Utah Jazz over the course of many years, with other longtime fans easily able to recognize his name and face thanks to the antics he regularly displayed.

Anderson died at age 78 after a battle against “a very aggressive cancer,” an obituary recently published in the Deseret News stated.

An exact date of death was not given, although the Salt Lake Tribune reported it occurred Sunday.

Anderson was a world-renowned surgeon, but also became known as the guy who brought saxophones and rubber chicken heads to games to distract opponents (behavior that got him in trouble with referees) and held signs such as “The only good Laker is a Salt Laker” when Los Angeles came to town.

A Deseret News story during the 1998 NBA Finals, when the Jazz faced the Chicago Bulls and Anderson’s fame was arguably at its highest, described him this way: “When he gets out of his scrubs, he heads for the Delta Center and settles into his front row, slightly obstructed seat just under the Jazz basket. There, he magically turns from Dr. Jekyll into Dr. Heckle.

“With bizarre clothes and Jazz insignia imprinted on his face, he continuously pulls from his ‘tackle box’ numerous items geared to either cheer up the Jazz or irritate their opponents. The surgeon is arguably Utah’s most obnoxious basketball fan, and he loves the attention.”

When news of Anderson’s death hit Twitter, many people shared memories of him at Jazz games. A sampling:

Away from that public image that many had of him, Anderson was known as an incredibly caring and skilled doctor.

His obituary states he received multiple lifetime achievement awards from various organizations for his work as a surgeon, and he contributed hundreds of scientific journal articles and book chapters “on eyelid, orbital and facial plastic and cosmetic surgery.”

From 1984-1999, he served as professor and chief of the division of ophthalmic, plastic and facial cosmetic surgery at the University of Utah after an eight-year stint at the University of Iowa.

A number of Jazz fans also shared memories they have of him in that capacity.

A viewing will be held on Friday and funeral services on Saturday.