lovable NBA The association announced the death of reporter and TV analyst Siko Smith on Tuesday. He was 48 years old.
Smith covered the NBA for nearly two decades. He started his business at Clarion-Ledger in Jackson, Miss. , Before covering Indiana Pacers And the Atlanta Hawks During his time with the Indianapolis Star and the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
He joined Turner Sports in 2009, serving as a reporter and analyst for NBA.com and NBA TV. Smith also hosted the Hang Time Podcast, and it last appeared on January 11.
“We are deeply saddened by the tragic death of Seiko,” Turner Sports said in a statement. “His commitment to the press and the basketball community was immense and we will miss his warm and charismatic personality. He was loved by friends and colleagues of Turner Sports, his friends and teammates in the NBA. Our deepest condolences go out to his family and loved ones.”
Smith has been described as a kind person and an important figure in the NBA community, prompting a flurry of praises from former teammates, players, coaches, and league officials.
“The League mourns the death of Sico Smith, a beloved member of the NBA family,” NBA commissioner Adam Silver said in a statement. “Seiko has been one of the friendliest and most dedicated journalists in the NBA and a great friend of many across the league.”
“Seko’s love for basketball was evident to everyone who knew him and had always shined in his work. Our heartfelt condolences go to his wife Heather and their children Gabriel, Reilly and Cameron,” Silver continued.
Smith has been battling the coronavirus, according to reports. The cause of his death was not officially revealed on Tuesday.
New Orleans Pelicans coach Stan Van Gondy said he last heard about Smith’s condition Monday night from longtime NBA writer Mark Spears and thinks things are getting better.
After learning of his death, he said the news was “hit hard.”
“I think for all of us, this COVID thing has been painful, to say the least,” said Van Gondi, who worked with Smith at Turner Sports before taking on the Pelican job. “But when you lose someone you know, respect and respect when he’s young. I mean, he might not be young by some of your guys’ definitions, but he’s young by my standards.”
Steve Kerr, the coach of the Golden State Warriors, who also spent time working with Smith at Turner Sports, said he was “totally crushed”.
“The news is broken,” Kiir said, according to Athletic reporter Anthony Slater. “Seiko has been a part of the NBA family for a long time … just another terrifying day and we’re all so sad.”
Others from within the NBA community and across the sports world interacted for the news on social media.
A native of Grand Rapids, Michigan, Smith attended college in Jackson State, Mississippi, before entering the world of sports.