According to Kelly Iko and Shams Charania of The Athletic, Sterling Brown’s inner circle and teammates feared for his life.
Late Sunday night, Brown was a victim of an assault that left him hospitalized while leaving a strip club in Miami. The Houston Rockets forward has since been discharged from Jackson Memorial Hospital in Miami but is still in a great deal of pain — according to the report from The Athletic.
Per Iko and Charania, Brown got into an altercation with several perpetrators after he accidentally entered the wrong van outside of a nightclub. After a heated exchange, Brown was struck in the head with a bottle that left multiple gashes across his face. Kevin Porter Jr. stepped into the dispute to protect Brown and separated him from the situation.
The Rockets were in Miami to play the Heat as part of the second half of a back-to-back following their 114-110 victory over the Orlando Magic.
“Heart-wrenching. Rips your heart out. It’s one of your guys, someone on your team that you care about. Someone that you’re with every day. As far as how I’m feeling and how the team is feeling, we’re all just thankful that he’s going to be okay and also down about what happened.” — Stephen Silas
In a statement released by the Rockets, Brown “had no prior knowledge of or interaction with the assailants.” Since his release, Brown is back in Houston and is expected to make a full recovery. At the time of this writing, there is no timetable for Brown’s return to the court.
After signing with the Rockets as a free agent in November, Brown is near the end of his first season in Houston. Despite possessing the league’s worst record at 15-43, the 6-foot-5 Illinois native has been one of a few bright spots for the Rockets in 2021. He is currently averaging 8.2 points while establishing himself as the team’s best 3-point shooter, shooting 42.3 percent from behind the arc in 51 games.