Lorenzen Wright was found dead outside of Memphis, according to Wright’s family. The former Clipper had been missing since July 19.
Wright was considered one of the league’s good guys, as J.A. Adande recounts at ESPN.com:
The NBA world is so warped, the values so skewed, that sometimes the simplest acts can seem extraordinary. That was the case when Lorenzen Wright offered to drive his friend and colleague around.
But it was that small measure of grace, far from the normal image of the self-centered professional athlete, that popped into Johnny Doyle’s mind when he heard that Wright was found dead Wednesday. Doyle was the Clippers’ strength and conditioning coach when Wright first played in the NBA near the end of the 1990s, and Doyle was the beneficiary of Wright’s “good guy” persona you heard mentioned so often Wednesday. When Doyle wrecked his car, it was Wright who spent a week driving him to practice or wherever else he needed to go. Wright had a Chevy Tahoe, which he was particularly fond of because its red paint matched the color of his college fraternity, Kappa Alpha Psi.
After Wright left the Clippers to sign a free-agent contract with the Atlanta Hawks, he’d still drive Doyle around whenever the Clippers came to Atlanta. They’d go to Wright’s house or out to dinner. Wherever they wound up Wright usually had family members with him.
“He loved his family,” Doyle said. “He loved his dad and his brother. They came out [to Los Angeles] with him. I remember how much he loved his family. They were always around.”
Wright would expand the family base by raising six children of his own. A seventh died at a young age. One might think that losing a child would have been enough sadness for a family that had already had to deal with the bullet that left Wright’s father paralyzed. Now more bullets have ended Lorenzen’s life at age 34.
Adande also catalogs the tragedy that has befallen the Clippers’ 1996-97 roster.