Longtime NBA reporter and analyst Sekou Smith died on Tuesday. He was 48 years old.
Sports and media figures are paying tribute to Sekou Smith—the revered sports analyst who died at 48 following a battle with coronavirus.
NBA commissioner Adam Silver addressed the tragedy in a statement Tuesday night, expressing condolences to Smith’s family and recognizing his contributions to the sports world.
“The NBA mourns the passing of Sekou Smith, a beloved member of the NBA family,” Silver wrote. “Sekou was one of the most affable and dedicated reporters in the NBA and a terrific friend to so many across the league. He covered the game for more than two decades, including the past 11 years with Turner Sports, where he showed his full range of skills as an engaging television analyst, podcast host and writer. Sekou’s love of basketball was clear to everyone who knew him and it always shined through in his work. Our heartfelt condolences go to his wife, Heather, and their children, Gabriel, Rielly and Cameron.”
Smith began working as a sports reporter for The Clarion-Ledger in 1994 while earning his communications degree at Jackson State University. He would work for the outlet until 2001, before landed sports writing positions with the Indianapolis Star and then the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Smith was hired as a Senior Analyst for NBA Digital in 2009, and would continue to work for the league as a TV analyst, writer, and podcast host up until his death.
Turner Sports released the following statement on the loss:
We are all heartbroken over Sekou’s tragic passing. His commitment to journalism and the basketball community was immense and we will miss his warm, engaging personality. He was beloved by his Turner Sports and NBA friends and colleagues. Our deepest condolences are with his family and loved ones.
Heavy heart today..We lost a good brother to Covid.
Sekou Smith of @NBATV and https://t.co/dyMHCgGy2q was a brilliant and insightful writer,a positive dude.
He’s gone home to be with the Lord. ??
Philippians 4:4 pic.twitter.com/Yw5xvwZ51g
— MarkJonesESPN (@MarkJonesESPN) January 26, 2021
May we all be as kind, as talented, as hardworking, as in love with the game and the craft as much as Sekou Smith.
— Mirin Fader (@MirinFader) January 26, 2021
Joining chorus of colleagues stunned and deeply saddened by the passing of Sekou Smith. Beyond his distinguished work, including his stint with Turner Sports, Smith was one of the kindest, most generous people on the NBA beat. And what a laugh. RIP, Sekou. You’ll be missed dearly
— K.C. Johnson (@KCJHoop) January 26, 2021
Rest in eternal power Sekou Smith. In total shock. Love and support to Sekou’s family.
— Dave Zirin (@EdgeofSports) January 26, 2021
We join the NBA family in mourning the heartbreaking loss of Sekou Smith, a fantastic writer and a great ambassador of our game. We extend our deepest condolences to the Smith family.
— LA Clippers (@LAClippers) January 26, 2021
Sekou Smith was one of the hardest working and most humble guys out there. This hurts.
— Jonathan Abrams (@Jpdabrams) January 26, 2021
My condolences to @SekouSmithNBA and his family ????
— Isaiah Thomas (@isaiahthomas) January 26, 2021
I can’t add anything more than the enormous outpouring of grief and love for Sekou Smith all over social media. He was a friend to so many of us. I count myself blessed to be part of that group. My heart is broken at this news. Rest in Peace.
— Chris Dempsey (@chrisadempsey) January 26, 2021
Thank you for your brotherly friendship, humor, honesty and compassion. Glad we had a chance to tell each other we loved each other three weeks ago. You were a gift to this Earth as a friend, father and a man Sekou Smith. Rest In Peace to my brother. Prayers to your wife & family pic.twitter.com/mqjnZyEHNz
— Marc J. Spears (@MarcJSpears) January 26, 2021
Rest In Peace Mr. Smith, condolences to his family.