Former NBA star Mookie Blaylock, real name Daron Oshay Blaylock, 46, is on life support after a head-on car crash just after noon, ABC Atlanta reports it occurred after 1:00 p.m., in Clayton County, Georgia, reports ajc.com.
Here’s what you need to know.
1. Blaylock’s Car Crossed into Oncoming Traffic
According to a local police chief, Blaylock was driving north on Tara Boulevard when his car, a Cadillac Escalade, crossed into the southbound lane, colliding head-on with another vehicle. CBS reports the crash took place just south of North Avenue in Jonesboro (street view above).
A witness told the Atlanta Daily World:
He crossed over the median directly in front of me. I swerved in a split second and he hit them on the side of me, and he flipped over in the ditch, he hit them because I swerved out of the way.
— 11Alive News (@11AliveNews) May 31, 2013
2. Two Other Victims Are Critical
Blaylock was driving alone, but there were two occupants in the other vehicle, both injured. Both are reported to be in critical condition, reports the Atlanta Daily World. One of those victims was bleeding internally.
The car was so damaged emergency responders had difficulty in removing the victims.
3. There Has Already Been an Outpouring of Emotion on Twitter
Hoping for the best for Mookie Blaylock, critically injured in an auto accident m.ajc.com/news/news/form…
— Grant Wahl (@GrantWahl) May 31, 2013
— Barnes (@__Darrian__) June 1, 2013
Mookie Blaylock had the fastest hands of any player ever
— CJ Mordock (@CJMordock) June 1, 2013
••• one of the most underrated PG’s in the 90’s RT @ryanla24: Mookie blaylock on life support aww man
— C. Lloyd (@MrImChillinTho) June 1, 2013
R.I.P Mookie Blaylock. He will be missed!
— Mike Tyson (@MikeTyson) May 31, 2013
Hope my man Mookie Blaylock pulls through and is ok. A 90s NBA icon and a classy defender no doubt. #Mookie
— Charlie Horse(@CharlesStCloud1) June 1, 2013
Meanwhile earlier, Tyson tweeted that Blaylock had passed away, a tweet that has so-far proved to be greatly exaggerated.
4. He Was an NBA Star
Blaylock played 13 years in the NBA and twice led the league in steals (’96-’97 and ’97-’98. Picked 12th overall by the Nets in the 1989 draft, he played the bulk of his career with the Hawks. He’s still the Hawks’ all-time leader in made three-pointers.
According to SB Nation:
Mookie Blaylock is one of the the best point guards in Hawks history.
A committed Atlanta Hawks player, Blaylock was shocked to be traded in the summer of 1999, he said at the time:
It was very shocking, especially when you’re with a team that long and you think you’re one of the guys that’s going to be around and you’re going to end your career there. But that’s part of the business. I know that’s how it goes.
5. Pearl Jam Originally Named Their Band Mookie Blaylock
The true story of the etymology of the name Pearl Jam was recounted in an interview with PJ bassist Jeff Ament in 1999:
…we were recording our first record, we had a per diem of about $10. So when we got lunch at the store across the street, we’d always buy a pack of basketball cards. When we turned in our tape, we didn’t have a name for the band yet so we put a Mookie Blaylock card in the case. We were about to go on a tour and still didn’t have a name and needed one quickly. We were told it didn’t need to be the name that we were going to use forever, just something for the tour.
Someone saw the Mookie Blaylock card and said, ‘How about Mookie Blaylock?’ We decided to go with it and did a 10-show tour with Alice in Chains as Mookie Blaylock. Mookie was cool about it, too—he didn’t sue us. I actually got to meet him later on and shoot around a little bit. We also made a Pearl Jam T-shirt with a picture of him on it. I guess we owe Mookie a lot.
In this video, the band we-now-know as Pearl Jam, are performing as “Mookie Blaylock,” playing songs that eventually made it on to the album Ten: