He had some of the best punchlines in the business of sports broadcasting, and he was, without a doubt, cooler than the other side of a pillow. Following a prolonged battle with cancer, beloved ESPN anchor Stuart Scott died at the age of 49 a few days ago Jan. 4, 2015. Regardless, the personal tributes from those involved in the NBA are still pouring in. That’s because the Chicago native didn’t just report on the NBA, he touched many individuals within it. Some would struggle to remember a time he wasn’t on SportsCenter. A lucky few could even call him a friend. Herein, we found the touching ways in which the NBA remembered the man and gamechanger.
When last year’s playoffs MVP hit the court for the first time since Scott’s passing, he did so with a handwritten message on his sneakers. “Boo-yah,” he wrote on his pair of Nike KD VIs, referencing one of Scott’s catchphrases. “RIP The Great Stuart Scott.” Durant also tweeted homage to the broadcaster: “Rest peacefully in Paradise Mr. Scott, we miss you and Love you!”
The D12 Foundation, an organization founded by Dwight Howard to help youth, posted images of several of Scott’s interviews with the player. “There will never be another! Rest in Paradise sir!” was the caption. Howard later re-posted the image to his Instagram account.
Chris Paul was lucky enough to know the man off the court and counted him as a friend. In the caption of this photograph he posted on Instagram, Paul wrote that he considered Scott an idol and mentor. He also references Scott’s well-known love for his two daughters, Taelor and Sydni.
Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban has had his share of interviews with Scott. On Twitter, he wrote how much they meant to him: “The only interview that mattered was the Stuart Scott interview on the last day of the NBA season #RIPStuartScott.” His initial reaction to the broadcaster’s death suggest he might have been one of the first in the league to hear of it.
King James’ tribute to Stuart Scott listed another reason why the anchor had made such an impact on the league: he was a proud stalwart of African American culture. When Scott signed on, catchphrases were unheard of—now they’re a mainstay in sports broadcasting, a testament to Scott’s unwillingness to abandon his heritage. Now, as LeBron writes on Instagram, Scott has given “inner city kids someone we could relate to that wasn’t a player but was close enough to them.”
Going way back to 2008, Paul Pierce remembers how Scott was there after Pierce and the Boston Celtics had won the NBA championships. Pierce also won finals MVP, making it his crowning achievement.
Danny Green would have been roughly five years old when Stuart Scott joined ESPN as an anchor, further cementing the fact that, for many players, Scott was a constant presence in their lives. For Green, it was hard to believe that Scott passed away, he wrote on Instagram. He described the broadcaster as “a guy I’ve looked up to since I was a kid and hope I could be as special as he was to the world one day.”
In case you missed it
Ballers, celebrities and more come together to remember Madiba
A retrospective of the annual tribute collection