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Sean Rooks dead, Knicks interviewee and 76ers assistant was 46

The Chicago Bulls' Marcus Fizer, right, is knocked

The Chicago Bulls' Marcus Fizer, right, is knocked off balance by the Los Angeles Clippers' Sean Rooks in the second quarter but fails to draw an offensive foul Wednesday, Jan. 29, 2003, at Staples Center in Los Angeles. Credit: AP / Ric Francis

Former NBA player Sean Rooks died Tuesday hours after interviewing for an assistant coaching position with the Knicks. He was 46.

Rooks had been an assistant coach for the Philadelphia 76ers the past two seasons. The team released a statement from Rooks’ mother, Deborah Brown, Tuesday night. Yahoo’s the Vertical reported that Rooks had interviewed with the Knicks earlier in the day. A league source confirmed the report.

“It is with deep sadness and overwhelming grief that we mourn the sudden loss of my son, Sean,” Deborah Brown said in a statement. “Our family asks that our privacy be respected as we grieve during this incredibly difficult time.”

Rooks met with Knicks president Phil Jackson, general manager Steve Mills and new coach Jeff Hornacek in New York Tuesday. Yahoo reported that the sides believed they could reach an agreement on Rooks joining Hornacek’s staff. Rooks also reportedly was offered the head coaching position for the Charlotte Hornets’ new D-League team.

But he returned home and reportedly collapsed and died at a Philadelphia restaurant.

A second-round pick of the Dallas Mavericks in 1992, Rooks spent 12 seasons in the NBA, and averaged 6.2 points in 749 games with seven teams. He coached in the D-League with Bakersfield, New Mexico and Sioux Falls before joining the Sixers in 2014.

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