HoopsHype Lorenzen Wright rumors

August 11, 2010 Updates
August 8, 2010 Updates
August 7, 2010 Updates

It was a common site in this posh enclave: Sherra Wright, walking down Whisperwood Drive, shouting into her cell phone and making demands for money. "It was really bizarre," Patricia Coleman told the Daily News Thursday night. Coleman's home abuts Wright's house in this quiet suburb of Shelby County, 20 miles east of Memphis. "She wouldn't talk in the house," Coleman said. "She would walk up and down the street and scream and holler. Neighbors would call and ask what's going on? She was always saying she needed money. That's one of the reasons we're concerned today." New York Daily News

Wright is the ex-wife of former NBA basketball player Lorenzen Wright, whose slain body was found in a deserted area of southeast Memphis on July 28. While Memphis police are in the midst of a homicide investigation, Sherra Wright, who moved to the neighborhood in November and is described by neighbors as distant and aloof, has emerged as a person of interest in the police investigation as well as a lightning rod for speculation among Memphis residents. The Wrights divorced in February. New York Daily News

Homicide detectives searched Sherra Wright's home on Sunday, focusing on a fire pit in her backyard that was raging on July 19, the night Lorenzen Wright disappeared. Coleman remembers seeing Sherra Wright in the backyard by the fire. "She was back there with another man," Coleman said. "I thought it was strange because it was like one of the hottest days of the year." After the detectives left Sherra Wright's house, Coleman said Sherra "or someone who looked like Sherra" returned to the home, venturing to the back patio for a couple of minutes. Sherra Wright has not publicly spoken about Lorenzen Wright's death, and no one answered the door to her home on Thursday night. New York Daily News

According to Mathes, Lorenzen Wright was "broke" at the time of his death, as evidenced by the foreclosure of two homes he owned, she said. Mathes said Lorenzen Wright had a life insurance policy in his name but that she was unaware of who the beneficiary is. Mathes has said her client was threatened by three gunmen who showed up at her home in search of Lorenzen Wright, six weeks before he was killed. Sherra Wright never told authorities, fearing for her life if she spoke out, Mathes said. New York Daily News

August 5, 2010 Updates

Current and former NBA players in attendance included former Grizzly teammates Bonzi Wells and Stromile Swift, current Grizzlies Zach Randolph and Tony Allen, former Grizzly and Memphis product Lester Hudson, former Hawks coach Mike Woodson and NBA agent Aaron Goodwin. "This was a celebration of life," former Tiger and NBA player Elliot Perry said. "People really loved Lorenzen. When you talk about Lorenzen around the community, you're talking about a giant, a person who had a positive attitude about life." Memphis Commercial Appeal

Another memory that stood out was the death of Wright's 11-month-old daughter, Sierra, of natural causes in 2003. It was then that Heisley, who was with Wright at the time of Sierra's death, fully understood what people meant when they talked about how much Wright loved his children. "If you've ever gone through that experience, you wouldn't have any question how much love he had," Heisley said. "It was one of the most emotional things that I've ever been through, to see a grown man that big, just sitting there absolutely sobbing and crying." Memphis Commercial Appeal

Earl Barron: Just left Lorenzen's memorial. Got emotional at the end hearing the choir sing "Going Up Yonder" watching them push the casket. So many people came out to celebrate his life. One quote stood out today. "The enemy has a plot but God has a plan." Twitter

The investigation has turned toward Sherra Wright, who divorced Lorenzen Wright in February, hasn't held a job in 17 years and is nearly $3 million in debt, according to her divorce attorney, Gail Mathes. Homicide detectives searched Sherra Wright's home on Sunday, focusing on a fire pit in her backyard. Nearly sixweeks before Wright was shot to death, Sherra said she was confronted at her home by three gunmen who were looking for him. Fearing for her life if she spoke, she waited until Monday to tell the authorities of the incident. Coleman Garrett, a criminal attorney for Sherra, told the Daily News Wednesday that she would not be giving a statement to the Memphis police despite their attempts to interview her. "We don't have anything to add," Garrett said. "We don't want to fuel the rumors." New York Daily News

Garrett also spoke to reports that Wright provided misinformation to investigators concerning when she last saw her ex-husband, telling authorities she saw him leaving her Collierville home at 2 a.m. on July 19 when police say they later received a call from Wright's cell phone around midnight. The 911 call from Wright wasn't forwarded to the police until eight days later, when his body was found. Rodney Bright, the Germantown Deputy Police Chief, told The News that his office was to complete an internal review of the circumstances surrounding the 911 call to a Germantown dispatcher late Wednesday and noted that the dispatcher who handled the call has not been disciplined. "I don't know whose timeline that is," Garrett said. "She was in bed; she didn't know what time it was." New York Daily News

Mathes told The News that Sherra couldn't possibly be a suspect in his murder because "she didn't have any motive to kill because he had no money." According to Mathes, Lorenzen was "broke" at the time of his death, the result of two homes he owned that were foreclosed in the amount of nearly $3 million, she said. "The fact is that he had huge debts and no money and actually he wasn't paying any child support and he was talking of getting a job (playing overseas) so he could pay child support," Mathes said. New York Daily News

Lorenzen Wright was remembered Wednesday not only as a local basketball star but as a devoted family man with a deep affection for his community as thousands gathered inside FedExForum to mourn a life taken too soon. The memorial service for Wright, who was found dead last week in Southeast Memphis from gunshot wounds, lasted nearly three hours and included speeches from his siblings, local dignitaries and members of the basketball community tracing his journey from Booker T. Washington High to the University of Memphis and the Memphis Grizzlies. "He was a young man who never forgot who he was, where he came from, the values that shaped him and the people who encouraged him along the way," Mayor AC Wharton said. "Lorenzen's story was one of those special Memphis stories where a man is able to transcend his roots even while he represents those roots proudly." Memphis Commercial Appeal

August 4, 2010 Updates

Family, friends and fans said good-bye to Lorenzen Wright today in the arena where he played as local hero for the Memphis Grizzlies. Thousands stood at their seats primarily in the lower bowl of the FedExForum at the start of the afternoon memorial service for the power forward, whose body was found in a secluded area of Southeast Memphis a week ago. Memphis Commercial Appeal

They then heard three hours of spiritual hymns and speeches of inspiration from clergy and dignitaries who spoke of Wright’s courage, tenacity and spirit. There were former teammates, team owners and the casual fan who watched Wright play in the city from Booker T. Washington High, to the University of Memphis to the Memphis Grizzlies. Michael Heisley, the Grizzlies’ majority owner, recalled that Wright was the spiritual and physical leader for the team during the most successful five years in franchise history. "He was an inspiration to the young team we had," Heisley said. Memphis Commercial Appeal

Police investigating the shooting death of former NBA player Lorenzen Wright have searched the home of his ex-wife, authorities confirmed Wednesday. Meanwhile, a public memorial service for Wright will be held Wednesday afternoon at the FedExForum in Memphis, Tennessee. The body of Wright, 34, was found in a wooded area in Memphis on July 28, police said. The death has been ruled a homicide by gunshot wound. Wright had been missing since visiting his ex-wife's home in Collierville, Tennessee, on July 18, police said. Collierville is about 20 miles east of Memphis. CNN.com

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