Malik Sealy: Star of Eddie, a Long Ago Movie

25 Mar 1997:  Guard Malik Sealy of the Los Angeles Clippers stands on the court during a game against the Vancouver Grizzlies at the Los Angeles Sports Arena in Los Angeles, California.  The Clippers won the game 110-104. Mandatory Credit: Elsa Hasch  /Allsport Elsa/Getty Images
Malik Sealy has been gone now for over a decade.  Had he survived the car crash that killed him when a drunk driver smashed into his vehicle, he’d probably be doing movie roles and working as a TV analyst after a brilliant career in the NBA.

As Shakespeare once said, the good men do is often interred with their bones, but Malik showed the world a few lasting emblems to follow today if we look and remember.

Few now recall that Sealy also had a featured role in Eddie, a movie with Rick Fox and Whoopi Goldberg. Malik played the arrogant young ball player named Stacy. He had also done a few television episodes of a show called The Sentinel.

Sealy, who came out of St. John’s in the 1990s, was a star player for the Minnesota Timberwolves. It was there he met Kevin Garnett. The influence on each other was life-long and intense. The stars were aligned for the match.

Sealy was an extrovert who enjoyed performing, and he became a close advisor to his young colleague at the Timberwolves who was mercurial and private. He once told Kevin Garnett to “do what you do. If you left it out on the floor, you can be proud of that.” He helped the callow Garnett develop emotionally. After studying Malik, Garnett learned focus his power and turn it to superstardom.

In May of 2000, Sealy helped to arrange a surprise birthday party for Kevin Garnett who later recalled it was one of the best moments of his life, and he went to bed thinking how lucky he was to have friends like Malik. Shortly after falling asleep, KG’s aunt woke him with the staggering news that his friend was dead.

A drunk driver, with a long history of driving under the influence, going the wrong way on a Minnesota street, crashed head-on into Sealy’s vehicle. Malik’s car wasn’t equipped with air bags, but the other driver survived.

Later in the week, instead of going on vacation with Sealy as they had planned, Garnett served as a pallbearer, bringing his friend’s body to the cemetery in Queens where he now rests.

Garnett restored his crumbling spirits over the next few years, and perhaps had a moment in private thinking of Malik after he won that elusive NBA championship with the Celtics. No future birthday for Garnett could ever overcome this residue of bitterness.

The man who killed Malik has been in and out of prison for drunk driving twice more in ten years. Sealy’s most lasting legacy becomes the cautionary tale he gives fans about drunk driving and, especially, the moral failure of society to listen.

Had he lived, Malik Sealy would have only recently retired.

Requiescat in Pace, Malik.

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