“We are deeply saddened by the tragic death of Sekou,” Turner Sports, which airs and runs the NBA TV commercial on NBA.com, said in a statement. “His commitment to the press and the basketball community has been immense and we will miss his warm and charismatic personality.”
Smith covered the NBA for more than twenty years, including 11 years with Turner Sports, which, like CNN, is owned by WarnerMedia.
NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said: “The NBA mourns the death of Sico Smith, a beloved member of the NBA family. Seko was one of the most loved and dedicated correspondents in the NBA and a wonderful friend to many across the league.” statement.
Silver said, “Seko’s love for basketball was evident to everyone who knew him and had always shined in his work. Our heartfelt condolences are his wife, Heather, and their children, Gabriel, Riley and Cameron.”
Smith began his journalism career as a sports reporter at The Clarion-Ledger in Jackson, Mississippi, in 1994, according to his LinkedIn profile. He then worked for four years at both the Indianapolis Star and the Atlanta Journal-Constitution before joining Turner Sports.
Beloved in the basketball community, Smith’s death – on the anniversary of Kobe Bryant’s death just a year ago – has received many praises from players and coaches alike.
Van Gondi wrote, “While I’ve known him since he was with AJC, I’ve been fortunate to work with him on NBA TV.” “I got to know him well enough to know 3 things – I was lucky to spend time with him, I wanted to get to know him better and he was a good man.”
Dwayne Wade, a retired Miami Heat legend, echoed those sentiments.
In Smith’s hometown of Atlanta, Hawks shared a few words upon his death, as Smith covered the team for five years.
The Hawks’ manager Lloyd Pearce said in a post-match interview on Tuesday that it was a tough day, with Bryant’s birthday and news about Smith, calling him “a real person as much as he is in the industry.”
Smith survived his wife Heather and their three children Gabriel, Riley and Cameron.