Three weeks ago, Shaquille O’Neal pronounced he was pushing down a travel in New York and saw Sean Rooks holding a infrequent stroll.
O’Neal smiled and pulled over and a dual large group and former teammates on a Lakers talked for about 5 minutes, shouting and joking.
So when O’Neal schooled that Rooks had died Tuesday night during a age of 46, substantially from heart disease, O’Neal suspicion behind to that changed impulse in New York.
“He looked good too,” O’Neal pronounced in a phone talk Wednesday. “We only talked to any other for about 5 mins and common some stories. It’s crazy to consider he died.”
Rooks trafficked to New York on Tuesday to talk with new Knicks Coach Jeff Hornacek about apropos an partner manager on his staff. Rooks spent a final dual years as a actor growth manager with a 76ers. He collapsed Tuesday night during a grill after returning to Philadelphia.
Rooks, a 6-10 center, spent 12 years in a NBA.
He was O’Neal’s backup for 3 seasons with a Lakers, from 1996 to ’99. Rooks also played 3 seasons with a Clippers, 2000-2003.
“He was a well-respected guy,” O’Neal said. “Once you’ve played in this league, we turn a rope of brothers. He was a good guy. we send my condolences to his family. It’s unhappy to hear.
Robert Horry, another former Lakers teammate, remembered when he met Rooks in college.
Horry was personification for a University of Alabama and Rooks was personification for a University of Arizona when a schools met in a 1990 NCAA Tournament.
Horry still fondly recalls that a Crimson Tide dissapoint a Wildcats, 77-55, and that a dual after became friends on a Lakers.
“We waxed them by 22 points. After that, we both done it to a Goodwill Games and [Rooks] said, ‘Man, we suspicion we were going to kick y’all, a garland of nation bumpkins.’ ”
“We only talked about it and laughed about it,” Horry removed Wednesday. “We only became friends after that…. Sean was only a good person, a good guy. we feel so contemptible for his kids and his mom. She desired her boy.”
Horry, O’Neal and Tracy Murray all were in a 1992 NBA breeze class.
Murray, a Lakers’ sharpened coach, met Rooks during high school.
Murray’s family had changed in a summer of 1985 to Glendora. During a summer joining diversion in Fontana, Murray saw Rooks and wondered “who is that large dude over there?”
It was Rooks, who was a star during Fontana High. The dual struck adult a loyalty that lasted.
“He was a man with a large heart,” Murray said. “He was pleasing to be around, a loyal friend. He was somebody we could count on and always had a shoulder to gaunt on.”
Rooks had a son, Kameron, who plays basketball during California, and a daughter, Khayla.
Murray pronounced he was means to reach Khayla on Instagram.
“I did tell her how special her father is,” Murray said. “She’s immature and he’s all over a place grinding, perplexing to get a coaching pursuit here, perplexing to get a coaching pursuit there. It’s a tough business…. So we was vouchsafing her know that all he did, he destitute his tail for both of them. They indispensable to know that. They indispensable to know how most he desired them and how most he wanted to make a best life for them.”