Malik Sealy Tribute Mix - "I Wish"
February 1, 1970 - May 20, 2000
Malik Sealy was born on February 1, 1970 in The Bronx, New York. Sealy was named after noted African-American social activist Malik Shabazz — better known as Malcolm X — for whom Sealy's father had been a bodyguard. A 1988 McDonald's All-American in high school, Malik choose to take his talent to a school close to home, St. John's University and become a Redmen. He would play at 4 seasons at St. John's, becoming a star by the time his Sophmore year rolled around, and was named NCAA AP 3rd Team All-American after his Senior year in 1992.
Malik was selected by the Indiana Pacers in the 1992 NBA Draft with the 14th overall pick. He would play 2 seasons with the Pacers before being traded to the Los Angeles Clippers in the summer of 1994. This trade was great for Malik, as he was finally able to showcase his talents after struggling to find minutes during his time with Indiana. In '96-'97, Malik averaged a career-high 13.5 PPG, while leading the Clippers to the playoffs.
After the 1996-1997 season, his 3rd with the Clippers, Malik was a free-agent and decided to sign with the Detroit Pistons. With the Pistons he would take on a 6th-man role, playing back-up to star Grant Hill. Sealy averaged 7.7 PPG in his only season with the Club.
At the beginning of 1999, after the lockout, the Detroit Pistons released Malik. He then signed with the Minnesota Timberwolves, re-uniting with former Pacer teammate Sam Mitchell, and joining an all-star who idolized him growing up, Kevin Garnett. In his 1st season with the club, Malik took a role coming off the bench, and averaged 8.1 PPG. He scored his 4000th career point, and also suffered an ankle injury causing him to miss 19 games of the already shortened season.
The 1999-2000 season, which would end up being Malik's last, was also his best. The T'Wolves were off to a 9-13 start when head coach Flip Saunders inserted Sealy into the starting line-up. He would start the rest of the season, averaging 11.3 PPG while shooting a carerr-high 47.6% & a career-high 4.3 RPG, and appearing in all 82 games for the first time in his career. Sealy was an intigral part of the T'Wolves squad, and played a big part in helping lead the franchise to their first ever 50-win season. In the span of less than a month during the season, he would hit 2 buzzer beating shots to win games. He lead the T'Wolves in scoring 4 times, netting 20+ points 6 times and posting a season-high of 27 points. The T'Wolves went on to lose in the 1st round of the playoffs to the Portland Trail Blazers.
On May 20, 2000, Malik Sealy, while returning from Kevin Garnett's birthday party, was killed by a drunk driver, Souksangouane Phengsene. Phengsene was traveling the wrong way down the highway when his pick-up collided with Sealy's SUV. The Minnesota Timberwolves retired Malik's #2 at the beginning of the 2000-2001 season in honor of him.
In addition to being a great basketball player, Malik was also a great person off the court, and did not let basketball define him as a person. A loving father & husband, he had numerous interests, such as music & acting, as well as high fashion. Owning a clothing line, "Malik Seally XXl", recording a track for the album "B-Ball's Best Kept Secret", and appearing alongside Whoopi Goldberg in the 1996 film "Eddie", were only some of his other business ventures.. He loved giving back and stayed active in the New York and Minnesota communities. Around the league Malik was respected by his peers, and viewed as one of the very few true "good guys" in the NBA.