“We are all mourning the sad demise of Seiko,” Turner Sports, which broadcasts and operates NBA TV advertising NBA.com, said in a statement. “His commitment to journalism and the basketball community was considerable and we will miss his warm, charming personality.”
Smith covered the NBA for more than twenty years, including 11 years with Turner Sports, which, like CNN, is owned by WarnerMedia.
NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said, “The NBA mourns the demise of Seiko Smith. Seiko, a beloved member of the NBA family, was one of the most sociable and devoted journalists in the NBA.” Statement.
Silva said, “The love of basketball was evident to everyone who knew him and it was always in his work. Our heartfelt condolences go out to his wife, Heather, and their children, Gabriel, Rialli and Cameron.”
Smith began his career in journalism as a sports reporter at The Clarion-Ledger in Jackson, Mississippi in 1994, according to his LinkedIn profile. He worked for the Indianapolis Star and Atlanta Journal-Constitution for four years before joining Turner Sports.
Dear in the basketball community, Smith’s death – just one year before the anniversary of Kobe Bryant’s demise – received many tributes from players and coaches alike.
“Ever since I had him with the AJC, but was lucky enough to work with him in NBA TV,” Van Gaddi wrote. “I knew him well knowing 3 things – I was lucky enough to spend time with him, I wanted to know him better and he was a good man.”
Dwyane Wade, retired Miami Heat legend, echoed those sentiments.
And in Smith’s adopted hometown of Atlanta, the Hawks shared a few words on his demise, as Smith covered the team for five years.
Hawks head coach Lloyd Pearce said in a post game interview on Tuesday that it was a difficult day, both for Bryant’s anniversary and news about Smith, calling him “about being in the industry as a real person”. “
Smith is survived by his wife Heather and their three children Gabriel, Reilly and Cameron.