Son of LA Clippers Owner Found Dead

1/2/13 1:40PM EST

sonoflaclippersowner Son of LA Clippers Owner Found Dead

A shadow fell upon what had previously been a great season for the L.A. Clippers when owner Donald Sterling’s son Scott, 32, was found dead in his Malibu Tuesday night. Authorities discovered the body on his couch in the late evening hours, and there were no signs of foul play. Friends and family had not seen him for at least two days.

A friend of the younger Sterling reportedly tried to check on Sterling before alerting authorities. According to Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department deputies, preliminary evidence suggests Sterling, who was a long-time sufferer of Type 1 Diabetes, died of a drug overdose. An official cause of death will be determined by the coroner’s office at a later date. Officials declined to comment what types of drugs were involved or if Sterling was taking any prescription medications.

Although it remains unclear if Sterling’s diabetes played any part in his death, 77-year old Donald Sterling and his wife Shelley released the following statement:

Our son Scott has fought a long and valiant battle against Type 1 Diabetes,” the statement said. “His death is a terrible tragedy, the effects of which will be felt forever by our family and all those who knew and loved him.

Sterling was well-liked, according to neighbors at the posh Malibu Beach Villas apartment complex on Pacific Coast Highway, as they told the LA Times he was “intelligent and kind,” and his death brought about a “sad day.” But his past was not without blemish. In 1999, Sterling was arrested in Beverly Hills for allegedly shooting Philip Scheid, a childhood friend. Although Scheid claimed Sterling shot him as he was running away, Sterling stated the gunshot was in self defense after Scheid pulled a knife. When Scheid’s credibility proved to be an issue, prosecutors did not pursue the case.

Clipper president Andy Roeser released a statement on behalf of the organization:

Today the thoughts and prayers of our organization go out to Donald T. and Shelly Sterling and their children Chris and Joanna, in the wake of this tragic loss. Scott was a friend to many in the Clippers’ family and he will be greatly missed.

Coach Vinny Del Negro also extended his thoughts and prayers to the Sterling family. “Tough day for everybody in the Clippers organization, but just thinking about Mr. and Mrs. Sterling with their loss,” Del Negro said. “That’s first and foremost on everybody’s mind today when we had our meeting this morning. Not an easy situation. I just hope they know that we’re thinking about them and that the team is, and we’ll be back soon. Things like this put things in perspective real quick. I know a lot of good thoughts and prayers are in that locker room with them tonight. That’s the first and foremost thing.

[Image via Los Angeles County Sheriff Department]

 
 
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