The following statement was released today by Lakers President/Governor and co-owner Jeanie Buss regarding the death of former Lakers player Sean Rooks: “We are shocked and terribly saddened by the news of the death of Sean Rooks. During his time with the Lakers he was a true professional and was a favorite among teammates, coaches and staff. Sean was a friendly guy that everyone loved having around. On behalf of the entire Lakers organization, I’d like to send our condolences as well as thoughts and prayers to his family.”
Rooks, 46, collapsed at a Philadelphia restaurant on Tuesday, according to multiple published reports. His death was announced by the 76ers later in the day. Philadelphia Public Health Department spokesperson Jeff Moran said the initial findings from an autopsy conducted on Wednesday showed heart disease could have contributed to Rooks’ death, although the Philadelphia Medical Examiner’s Office is exploring other natural causes. Rooks died just hours after the former Sixers assistant interviewed with the New York Knicks on Tuesday about a possible position on Jeff Hornacek’s staff. Rooks played for the Lakers from 1996-1999, and played as a Clipper from 2000-2003.