The Athletic reports that Rockets guard Sterling Brown "could have died" when he was assaulted in Miami on Sunday night.
“If he hadn’t been as physically strong and tough, he might not have made it out of the situation (Sunday) night,” sources told The Athletic.
News surfaced on Monday that Brown was jumped outside of a club in Miami on Sunday night and hit in the head with a bottle. The altercation was serious enough that he needed immediate medical attention. The team later announced he suffered multiple facial lacerations.
However, according to a report from The Athletic that includes details of the night, the altercation was much more serious than the Rockets initially let on.
Sources told The Athletic that Brown entered the wrong van when the group left the club and the guard ended up in a heated verbal exchange with at least three individuals in the vehicle. It escalated to them physically beating Brown and allegedly hitting him with a bottle.
According to the incident report obtained by The Athletic, an anonymous person called the police. Upon the authorities' arrival, Brown was there along with another unidentified individual. The guard reportedly had multiple lacerations on his body.
“Upon attempting to assist both males, and gather information as to what occurred, both males became belligerent and refused to cooperate," the report said. "Several attempts were made to gather information from [Brown], who kept insisting he did not want to provide his information, he only wanted rescue to take him to the hospital.”
Sources told The Athletic that Brown "needed multiple heavy stitching jobs for his facial injuries and underwent several tests," the outlet wrote.
In addition to a general concern about the guard's health, the league's health and safety protocols bring more scrutiny to the issue. The league's guidelines prohibit players from going to bars, lounges or clubs.
The NBA's investigation is still ongoing as a league spokesperson told The Athletic via a statement: “We are in the process of gathering information and hopeful that Sterling makes a full recovery.”
The 26-year-old is reportedly still in pain. The Athletic also reports that "his face is jacked up." Brown returned to Houston to continue his recovery.
The organization is bracing for the investigation, but according to The Athletic, a source said team officials have allegedly told several players not to respond to NBA inquiries on the topic.
Brown is averaging 8.2 points per game and 4.4 rebounds in his 51 games for Houston this season.
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