Sterling Brown's teammates reportedly feared for his life after strip club attack: 'He could have died'

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Jason Owens
·4 min read
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Reported details have emerged painting a bloody scene outside a Miami strip club that left Houston Rockets guard Sterling Brown hospitalized early Monday.

The Houston Rockets released a statement Monday that Brown "was the victim of an assault" and "suffered facial lacerations but will make a full recovery." Few other details of the incident were reported at the time.

The Athletic's Shams Charania and Kelly Iko published a story on Thursday citing sources close to Brown who were worried for his life after a late-night assault outside a club called the Booby Trap.

Report: Brown left beaten, bloodied by multiple attackers at strip club

According to the report, Brown and some of his Rockets teammates made a trip to the Booby Trap around midnight on Monday. The Rockets were staying in a Coral Gables hotel ahead of Monday's game against the Miami Heat after playing the Orlando Magic Sunday afternoon.

The Rockets chose to stay in Coral Gables to put some distance between the team and Miami nightlife, according to the report. 

Upon exiting the club, Brown mistakenly tried to board the wrong van, according to the report, prompting an exchange of words with its occupants that escalated to violence. A source told The Athletic that the van's occupants all proceeded to beat Brown, with one attacker hitting him in the back of his head with a bottle, "leaving blood everywhere."

NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA - JANUARY 30: Sterling Brown #0 of the Houston Rockets reacts against the New Orleans Pelicans during a game at the Smoothie King Center on January 30, 2021 in New Orleans, Louisiana. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images)
Sterling Brown was reportedly beaten and bloodied outside a Miami strip club. (Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images)

Report: Brown's teammate stepped in to stop the attack

Brown's teammate Kevin Porter Jr. intervened to protect Brown and got "roughed up" in the process, according to the report. Several of Brown's teammates had reportedly already left the establishment prior to the attack. 

Porter was well enough to play against the Heat on Monday. Brown, who had been sidelined with a knee injury, did not. The Rockets cited Brown's knee injury as the reason for his absence Monday.

According to a Miami-Dade Police Department report obtained by The Athletic, police found Brown "with multiple lacerations throughout his body" after responding to a call about a fight. 

Brown "kept insisting he did not want to provide his information," according to the police report. He was admitted to Jackson Memorial Hospital after 7 a.m., according to the report.

'His face is jacked up'

When he arrived at the emergency room, "blood was everywhere, dripped all over the floor," according to the report. Doctors reportedly feared that Brown could have suffered blood clotting because of his head injuries.

“If he hadn’t been as physically strong and tough, he might not have made it out of the situation [Sunday] night,” a source told The Athletic. “He could have died.”

After receiving stitches and undergoing testing, Brown was discharged Monday afternoon. 

"His face is jacked up,” a source told The Athletic

A league spokesperson told The Athletic that it is investigating the incident and is "hopeful that Sterling makes a full recovery.”

Stephen Silas addresses assault, gives update on Brown 

Rockets coach Stephen Silas responded to questions about the assault ahead of Houston's game against the Utah Jazz Wednesday. The rookie head coach who was dealing with a tumultuous Rockets season prior to the attack on Brown told reporters he's trying to "focus on the controllables."

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"It's not an easy situation," Silas said. "That's the job. That's what I'm here for. My job is to lead us through these choppy waters. My job is to hopefully help the players navigate all that's kind of going on around them. ...

"There's obviously a lot that's uncontrollable. It's not like I can't worry about those things. But I can do what I can do. Staying strong, staying positive, staying all of those things during these times is what's necessary. That's what I'm doing."

Silas also told reporters that Porter has been placed in the NBA's health and safety protocols and won't be available to play the next three games against the Jazz, Los Angeles Clippers and Denver Nuggets. The reported outing to the strip club violates the NBA's COVID-19 protocols prohibiting players from attending bars and clubs

Silas also confirmed that "Sterling is here in Houston and recovering."

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