Rod Boone: Forgot to mention that James Borrego opened his presser by mentioning @Rick Bonnell and how he’s missed. “It’s a little strange today not seeing Rick Bonnell in front of us,” he said. “I just want to acknowledge him. He was such a big part of our community, our sports world.”
Mark Medina: Nicolas Batum begins post-game press conference reiterating his condolences for @Rick Bonnell's family/friend. Batum: "He's the best. I'm going to miss him." Batum then shared his appreciation for his coverage on the Hornets and his piece on Batum's family.
Long-time Charlotte Hornets beat writer Rick Bonnell of the Charlotte Observer passed away suddenly on June 1. As Hornets Chairman Michael Jordan said, “Rick became the source for Hornets news in Charlotte.” Rick was a respected journalist, a dedicated father and loyal friend. In lieu of flowers, the Bonnell family asks donations be made to the Charlotte Hornets Foundation to honor Rick’s passion and love for this community, the NBA and the Charlotte Hornets – the team he covered for 30+ years.
There were other, bigger, more important parts: Terrific reporter, proud father, loyal friend, compassionate neighbor. He was the dean of Charlotte Hornets basketball media and, for sheer continuity, one of the lions of NBA writers spanning parts of five decades. Rick also was that rare newspaper sports writer who loved his job, raved about his bosses and rooted for that dead-tree medium to thrive, or at least endure beyond his career, which he confided to me recently that he wanted to continue until he was at least 70 years old.
Bonnell was a valued member of a shrinking Charlotte Observer newsroom, but as is the case with most journalists even pre-pandemic, he spent more time out of the office on his beat than rubbing elbows inside. He was around colleagues like me – Rick took over as president of the Professional Basketball Writers Association when I stepped down in 2007 – as much he was any co-workers, and even more so the players, coaches, front-office execs and other members of the Hornets.
Billy King: Wow, I am at a loss for words. I just heard of the passing of @theobserver, Rick Bonnell. Longtime beat writer for the @Charlotte Hornets. Rick was a great friend who I met while he covered Duke during my playing days. A great writer and a gentle soul. Overall just a great guy. RIP Rick.
Rick Bonnell, an award-winning sportswriter for more than 33 years at The Charlotte Observer, was found dead in his home Tuesday. He was 63. Bonnell was The Observer’s first beat reporter to cover the Charlotte Hornets during their inaugural season in 1988-89, and he was still breaking stories on the Hornets beat throughout this past season. Jack Bonnell, Rick’s son, confirmed his father’s death Tuesday night and added that police had told him that there was no reason to suspect foul play.
Rick Bonnell was a generous colleague, father, foodie, beach-lover, Twitter aficionado, proud Syracuse graduate and “a guy who achieved his lifelong dream by covering an NBA team so long and so well,” according to his son. To sit next to Bonnell at a Hornets game, as I did hundreds of times over the years, was like sitting next to a hilarious version of a Hornets Wikipedia page.
Marc Berman: Longtime Charlotte Hornets beat writer Rick Bonnell found dead at his home at age 63. Native of upstate Corning, attended Syracuse, covered the Orangemen. The nicest, most generous NBA beat writer there was. charlotteobserver.com/sports/spt-col…
Tom Haberstroh: Devastated to learn the news of my friend @Rick Bonnell’s death. He wore a tuxedo to cover the Hornets first game in 1988. I learned that in a beautiful tribute by @scott_fowler: charlotteobserver.com/sports/spt-col…
Ira Winderman: I started my career working alongside Rick's dad in Elmira, N.Y. That led to four decades of talking as much about family as about sports. RIP to just a wonderful soul who was so proud of his son. charlotteobserver.com/sports/spt-col…
October 21, 2021 | 9:30 pm EDT Update
LeBron James: From where I come from I’m simply LOST FOR WORDS!! BEYOND HONORED & BLESSED!! 🙏🏾 #ThekidfromAKRON🤴🏾⁶ #StriveforGreatness🚀 #NBA75💎
October 21, 2021 | 8:37 pm EDT Update
The NBA announced forward Julius Randle was fined $15,000 for throwing the game ball into the stands in celebration after the Knicks beat the Celtics, 138-134, in double overtime at Madison Square Garden on Wednesday.
Anthony Slater: Steve Kerr on the rearranged roster: “I thought the other night was an example of what will happen when teams blitz (Steph Curry). We’ve got a lot of weapons. Not just shooters but passers. We scored 121 points on a night when Steph went 5 of 21.”
Mirjam Swanson: Kerr on the Top 75, and if Klay & Draymond were snubbed: “How do you differentiate? Seems like there are 50-60 guys who are automatic and then you’re just – pick one. “I think those guys are top 75 based on winning, two-way basketball, everything that matters more than stats.”