New details have emerged regarding the assault of Houston Rockets guard Sterling Brown earlier this week. The incident occurred early Monday morning at a strip club in Miami, where the Rockets were on a road trip to play the Heat. Brown was jumped by multiple assailants in the parking lot of the club and hit with a bottle, suffering facial lacerations.
Brown was taken to a nearby emergency room, and the situation was so serious that his coaches and teammates feared for his life, according to Shams Charania and Kelly Iko of The Athletic. The incident apparently occurred after Brown got into the wrong van after leaving the club.
From The Athletic:
Sources said Brown entered the wrong sprinter van on his way out of the club and had a heated exchange of words with three or more individuals who appeared to possess the sprinter at the time. It escalated into all of those individuals jumping Brown, physically beating him up, hitting him in the head with a bottle and leaving blood everywhere, sources told The Athletic. One source said the individuals cracked Brown's head with the bottle, while another said once Brown was struck in the back of the head during the altercation, it led to him having a very hazy memory of the event. He was admitted into the hospital after 7 a.m.
When Brown was admitted into a private, priority room in the emergency room, blood was everywhere, dripped all over the floor. Brown needed multiple heavy stitching jobs for his facial injuries and underwent several tests, according to sources. He was discharged Monday late in the afternoon.
Prior to the team's matchup against the Heat on Monday night, Rockets coach Stephen Silas confirmed that he had spoken with Brown since the incident and that 26-year old guard will be alright. Brown has not played since April 10 due to a knee injury, and it's not clear when he'll return to the floor after this situation. After the incident, the Rockets released the following statement:
Last night, Sterling Brown was the victim of an assault. He had no prior knowledge of or interaction with the assailants. He suffered facial lacerations but will make a full recovery. Sterling is not playing tonight because of a prior knee injury.
Brown's health moving forward is obviously the main concern, but the fact the incident took place at a strip club brings up another issue for the NBA. The protocols that the league put in place to keep players safe during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic stipulate that players aren't allowed to go to bars or clubs. Thus, in addition to the assault, it a violation of the protocols might have also occurred. As a result, the league has reportedly opened up an investigation into the incident.