Los Angeles Laker Highly Rated Player Is Dead Of Heart Disease

Ex-Laker Darius Morris died of heart disease; cocaine played a role, medical examiner says


Darius Morris is holding the basketball while in his Lakers uniform

The Lakers selected Darius Morris in the second round of the draft in 2011, and he passed away on May 2. According to the medical examiner for Los Angeles County, the 33-year-old individual passed away due to coronary artery disease.

According to a report by the Los Angeles County Department of Medical Examiner, former Lakers and Clippers guard Darius Morris passed away at the age of 33 due to coronary artery disease. However, the “effects of cocaine, hydrocodone, and ethanol” were also a contributing factor in his death.

Morris, who had previously excelled at Windward High School in Mar Vista and the University of Michigan, was discovered dead on May 2 by an apartment management in the Los Angeles region who was doing a welfare check. Additionally, Morris had played for the Los Angeles Lakers with his coach Kobe Bryant.

The medical examiner determined that the death was the result of an accident. The medical examiner’s report stated that the last time anyone knew that Morris was alive was on April 22. At that time, he had a conversation with his mother and spoke of experiencing symptoms similar to those of the flu. There was no suspicion of any foul play.

As a result of a jury trial that took place in federal court in February, his father, Dewayne Morris Sr., and his older brother, Dewayne Morris Jr., were found guilty of conspiracy as well as three counts of bank fraud. Dewayne Jr. also was found guilty of witness tampering.

At the request of Anthony E. Colombo, the attorney who represents Dewayne Morris Jr., the judge in the federal district court in San Diego has decided to postpone the sentencing process from June 3 to August 5. This is so that the judge can evaluate three distinct requests that request a new trial. On Tuesday, Columbo announced that he will submit a fourth motion by the end of the week.

SAN ANTONIO, TX - APRIL 24: Darius Morris #1 of the Los Angeles Lakers drives to the basket on a fast break against the San Antonio Spurs in Game Two of the Western Conference Quarterfinals during the 2013 NBA Playoffs on April 24, 2013 at the AT&T Center in San Antonio, Texas. 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. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2013 NBAE (Photos by D. Clarke Evans/NBAE via Getty Images)

Colombo asserts that exculpatory material in the government’s possession pertaining to a cooperating witness was not shared with the defendants during trial. Colombo also said that if the motion is denied, he will appeal the case following sentencing.

Dewayne Sr., a career U.S. Postal Service supervisor based in Venice and Marina del Rey, was accused of obtaining thousands of postal money orders worth up to $5.1 million and Dewayne Jr. of fraudulently depositing them in bank accounts then withdrawing the cash.

Colombo said that Darius Morris had “absolutely no connection or involvement whatsoever in the case. I found him to be pleasant and a gentleman each time I met with him.”

Darius Morris was remembered for his exuberant personality and radiant smile. He led Windward to a CIF state Division V championship and was named CIF Southern Section player of the year in 2009. He scored 13 of his game-high 25 points in the fourth quarter of the state final.


He went on to set assist records at Michigan before being selected by the Lakers in the second round of the 2011 NBA draft.

Darius Morris steals the ball away from the Trail Blazers' Jared Jeffries in the second quarter.

In the 2012-13 season, the Lakers made the playoffs and faced the San Antonio Spurs despite injuries to Bryant (torn Achilles’ tendon) and point guard Steve Nash (broken leg). Morris came off the bench in the first two games and started Games 3 and 4 after guard Steve Blake was sidelined with a hamstring ailment.

Although the Lakers lost, Morris had 24 points and six assists in Game 3 paired up against All-Star guard Tony Parker. In Game 4, he supplied six assists along with eight points.

“Darius was an absolutely super nice guy, he always had a smile,” said Mike Bresnahan, The Times’ Lakers beat writer for 12 years who now is a Lakers analyst for Spectrum SportsNet.

“What I appreciated was that when he made it to the NBA he decided he was going to enjoy every minute of it. He was going to have fun. Darius never forgot that aspect of it.”


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