UPDATE: 7:28 pm: The Sterling family released this statement (via Eric Pincus of the Los Angeles Times):
“Our son Scott has fought a long and valiant battle against Type 1 Diabetes. His death is a terrible tragedy, the effects of which will be felt forever by our family and all those who knew and loved him.
We sincerely appreciate the warm outpouring of sympathy and support from so many of our dear friends. At this time, we respectfully ask to be afforded the opportunity to mourn this loss in an appropriately private manner.”
David Stern released this statement:
“On behalf of the NBA family, we extend our deepest and most heartfelt condolences to Donald and Shelly Sterling on the loss of their son Scott. Our thoughts and sympathies are with the Sterling family at this most difficult time.”
As a parent, I simply can’t imagine the pain of losing a child. My heart goes out to the Sterlings.
10:22 am: Scott Sterling, the 32-year-old son of Clippers owner and Los Angeles real estate mogul Donald Sterling, has been found dead in the family’s Malibu home, reports NBCLA.com.
Homicide detectives are at a Malibu home Wednesday morning after the discovery of a deceased male identified as 32-year-old Scott Sterling….
A cause of death was not immediately available. The body was discovered just after midnight. A coroner’s van was at the residence early Wednesday.
KTLA News in Los Angeles is reporting the Coroner’s Office told them it appears the death is from a drug overdose, and now the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department is saying they are investigating this as a possible overdose.
Scott Sterling was not directly involved in the Clippers organization. The younger Sterling had run-ins with the law before (Beverly Hills police wanted charges filed against him 12 years ago for shooting a friend but the District Attorney said no), however he had no criminal record.
Our thoughts are with the Sterling family at the time of this loss.
Kobe Bryant announced his retirement in a letter called “Dear Basketball,” which was made into a short film.
Now, on the day the Lakers retire his Nos. 8 and 24, you can watch it. It’s quite beautiful:
Kobe Bryant’s career truly occurred in two acts.
He was Shaquille O’Neal’s super sidekick for three championships. Then, Kobe led the Lakers to another two titles himself after Shaq departed.
He was an athletic, high-flying slam-dunk-contest champion. Then, he became known for his cerebral play and footwork.
He faced trial for rape in Colorado (the case was ultimately dismissed, and he settled civilly), blame for Shaq getting traded and criticism for being too selfish when the Lakers struggled in the aftermath of Shaq’s departure. Then, Kobe – still beloved by his fans – again became a socially acceptable marketing force.
His 2007 trade request serves as the more accurate intermission point, but his 2006 jersey change from No. 8 to No. 24 works well enough. He had a Hall of Fame career in No. 8 then a borderline Hall of Fame career in No. 24. Think Tracy Mcgrady’s career followed by Bernard King’s – but it was just Kobe followed by Kobe and with far more postseason success.
Here are the win-share leaders with a single franchise during Kobe’s career:
So much about Kobe is excessive – his accolades, his shot selection, his reputation as clutch. He had an all-time great career, but the myth outpaces reality.
Yet, Kobe becoming the first player with two numbers retired by the same team – which the Lakers will do at halftime tonight – feels incredibly appropriate. In his 20-year career with the Lakers, Kobe had time to succeed then succeed again in an extravagant way only he could manage.
He was dedicated and disciplined, flashy and fastidious, No. 8 and No. 24
The Lakers will retire Kobe Bryant’s No. 8 and No. 24 at halftime of their game against Warriors tonight.
The road team won’t miss it. The home team might.
Golden State coach Steve Kerr, via Monte Poole of NBC Sports Bay Area:
“I want our guys to see it,” Kerr said Saturday. “It’ll be a pretty cool moment.
“Just to experience of one of the greatest players in the history of the game getting his jersey retired and we happen to be there? I’m not going to keep them in the locker room watching tape from the first half. The players would look at me like I was nuts.”
Lakers coach Luke Walton, via Harrison Faigen of Lakers Nation:
“I hadn’t thought much about [watching the ceremony],” Walton said Sunday. “We’re still deciding how we’ll approach halftime.
“Our first priority is still the job that we have. I’m sure there’s going to be some halftime adjustments we need to make against the Warriors. We’re toying with a couple different ideas to let guys at least see part of it.”
Kerr seems like a pretty cool guy, someone who understands what truly matters. This will be a historic moment, and that can take priority over watching video for one night in a long season.
But he also has the luxury of coaching an all-time great team. Even with Stephen Curry, Draymond Green, Zaza Pachulia and Shaun Livingston injured, the Warriors are favored.
Walton has a young team that needs every break it can get. But he too should embrace the significance of the ceremony. His franchise is.
After reportedly initially being scheduled for pregame, the ceremony will occur at halftime. The NBA implemented a hard 15-minute limit on halftimes this season. Any team not ready will be assessed a delay-of-game penalty. So, lengthy speeches tonight could hinder the current team on the court. And that’s well worth the cost of doing business.
In the same regard, current Lakers watching Kobe’s ceremony would gain pride in being a Laker. There’s real value in that, probably more than in going over adjustments for a December game during a season very likely to end outside the playoffs regardless.
I bet this made George Hill happier.
The Kings still losing to the Raptors, 108-93, probably didn’t, though.