Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban was floored Tuesday when he received the news that Sean Rooks died at the age of 46.
Rooks was a second-round draft pick by the Mavs in 1992, and most recently worked as an assistant coach with the Philadelphia 76ers.
“I’m heartbroken,” Cuban said. “I literally just talked to him two weeks ago.
“He was such a good guy.”
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Rooks was a 6-10 center who played for the Mavs from ’92-94, and again during the 1999-2000 season. Cuban noted he was loved by his teammates and always had a huge smile on his face.
“When I first bought the Mavs [on Jan. 4, 2000] he would sit next to me on the plane and I would ask him NBA questions and watch him read car magazines,” Cuban said. “We got back in touch when we played the Sixers this year and kept in touch.
“Wookie [Rooks]had such a good heart. I can’t say enough good things about him.”
The Sixers released a statement from Rooks’ mother, Deborah Brown, which read: “It is with deep sadness and overwhelming grief that we mourn the sudden loss of my son, Sean. Our family asks that our privacy be respected as we grieve during this incredibly difficult time.”
Rooks had visited with Knicks President Phil Jackson and general manager Steve Mills for an assistant coaching position on Jeff Hornacek’s staff. He had spent the past two years on Brett Brown’s staff in Philadelphia.
The cause of death was not known.
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This story includes material from The Associated Press.