'Could have died': Grim new details in 'heart-wrenching' NBA incident

Andrew Reid
·4-min read
Seen here, Houston Rockets guard Sterling Brown sits down with a Black Lives Matter t-shirt on.
Houston Rockets guard Sterling Brown was rushed to hospital after being attacked outside a Miami club. Pic: Getty

Concerning new details have emerged about the attack on Houston Rockets guard Sterling Brown that saw the NBA star rushed to hospital and teammates fearing for his life.

Brown was reportedly attacked outside of a Miami night club on Sunday and hit over the head with a bottle after trying to get in the wrong van.

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New information about the incident paints a bloody scene, with those close to the player understood to be concerned that he might have been killed.

The Houston Rockets released a statement Monday that Brown "was the victim of an assault" and "suffered facial lacerations but will make a full recovery." Few other details of the incident were reported at the time.

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The Athletic's Shams Charania and Kelly Iko published a story on Thursday citing sources close to Brown who were worried for his life after the late-night assault outside a club called the Booby Trap.

According to the report, Brown mistakenly tried to board the wrong van after leaving the club, prompting an exchange of words with its occupants that escalated into violence. 

A source told The Athletic that the van's occupants all proceeded to beat Brown, with one attacker hitting him in the back of his head with a bottle, "leaving blood everywhere."

Brown's teammate Kevin Porter Jr. intervened to protect Brown and got "roughed up" in the process, according to the report. Several of Brown's teammates had reportedly already left the establishment prior to the attack. 

Porter was well enough to play against the Heat on Monday. Brown, who had been sidelined with a knee injury, did not. The Rockets cited Brown's knee injury as the reason for his absence Monday.

According to a Miami-Dade Police Department report obtained by The Athletic, police found Brown "with multiple lacerations throughout his body" after responding to a call about a fight. 

Sterling Brown can be seen here playing for the Houston Rockets.
The Houston Rockets have confirmed that Brown is making a full recovery after the attack. Pic: Getty

Brown "kept insisting he did not want to provide his information," according to the police report, after he was admitted to Jackson Memorial Hospital around 7am.

'His face is jacked up'

Brown recovering after bloody incident

When he arrived at the emergency room, "blood was everywhere, dripped all over the floor," according to the report. 

Doctors reportedly feared that Brown could have suffered blood clotting because of his head injuries.

“If he hadn’t been as physically strong and tough, he might not have made it out of the situation [Sunday] night,” a source told The Athletic. “He could have died.”

After receiving stitches and undergoing testing, Brown was discharged Monday afternoon. 

"His face is jacked up,” a source told The Athletic.

A league spokesperson said the incident is under investigation and they were "hopeful that Sterling makes a full recovery.”

Rockets coach Stephen Silas told reporters that Porter has been placed in the NBA's health and safety protocols and won't be available to play the next three games against the Jazz, Los Angeles Clippers and Denver Nuggets. 

“Heart-wrenching. Rips your heart out,” Silas said.

“It’s one of your guys, someone on your team that you care about, someone that you’re with every day.

"He's doing better," Silas said, while declining to address details of the incident. "... Thankfully, he's going to be OK."

The reported outing to the strip club violates the NBA's COVID-19 protocols prohibiting players from attending bars and clubs. 

Silas also confirmed that "Sterling is here in Houston and recovering."

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