The NBA world has lost a prominent voice. Sekou Smith, who worked for the Indianapolis Star from 2001-05, for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution from 2005-09, and for and NBA TV from 2009 on, has passed away. Smith had been battling COVID-19; New Orleans Pelicans coach Stan Van Gundy sent him good thoughts from a press conference last week. @Unit1HoopSource was the first to tweet about Smith’s passing Tuesday, but many others have since joined in with confirmation and with tributes to Smith:

Smith graduated from Jackson State University in 1997 with a degree in Mass Communications, and he went on to make a huge mark in the NBA world. He started as a respected and prominent beat writer covering the Pacers and then the Hawks, as well as the whole league, and then he became one of the most prominent and notable figures at NBA TV and after moving there. His recurring “Sekou’s MVP Ladder” (which he did as recently as  earlier this year) was a popular feature for both and NBA TV.

Smith was an early writer to shine in multiple other mediums, including TV and podcasting (the Hang Time podcast with Lang Whitaker and Rick Fox), and his love for basketball was always obvious; in addition to the NBA, he delivered great coverage of Olympic basketball, other international basketball, the NCAA and the grassroots level. Our thoughts go out to his family and friends.

[@Unit1HoopSource on Twitter; top screengrab of a 2018 Smith NBA TV appearance from]

About Andrew Bucholtz

Andrew Bucholtz has been covering sports media for Awful Announcing since 2012. He is also a staff writer for The Comeback. His previous work includes time at Yahoo! Sports Canada and Black Press.