Former Atlanta Hawks point guard Mookie Blaylock was involved in a car accident on Friday that has left him in serious condition. The 1994 NBA All-Star was reportedly driving an SUV when he crossed the median and slammed into a van. A passenger in the van, 40-year-old Monica Murphy, died as a result. Blaylock has been charged with driving with a suspended license and failing to stay in his lane.
Over the weekend, Blaylock received well wishes from the rock band Pearl Jam, which was once called “Blaylock,” and named its first album “Ten” after his jersey number.
“I was a huge Mookie fan,” Pearl Jam bassist Jeff Ament told The New York Times on Sunday. “He was really unselfish; great shooter; great fundamentals.”
Plus, he had a cool name. Ament said Blaylock’s “super-unique name” is one of the things the members of the band loved about him. When Ament and some of the other members of the band first starting recording music together, they would open packs of basketball cards during lunch and compare who got the best players.
“One of the cards that went to my manager, and ended up in a cassette, was Mookie’s card,” Ament said. “Fast-forward a couple of weeks: we got offered the Alice in Chains tour on the West Coast. The cassette was sitting on the desk, and somebody said, ‘What about Mookie Blaylock?’”
The name “Blaylock” stuck for a while, but Ament said they never intended it to be the actual name for long. On Saturday, the band posted a picture of an old Pearl Jam T-shirt that featured Blaylock on it on its Instagram account. Ament recalled the first time he met Blaylock, when Mookie traveled to Seattle to play the SuperSonics. They hit it off and even played H-O-R-S-E together.
“You always worry when you meet people who have been on your radar for that long, rock stars included,” Ament said. “He was one of the one out of 10 guys who exceeds your expectations, in terms of how nice he was.”
Pearl Jam and Mookie Blaylock? There’s a combination I bet you never thought you’d hear. On Monday, police said no drugs or alcohol appear to have been involved with the crash. Hopefully Blaylock is able to recover.