Wayne Ellington, Sr., 57, was found slumped inside his car Sunday in the city’s Germantown section. He was later pronounced dead at a hospital.
Earlier that day, Ellington had sent a text message to his son, encouraging him.
“Ball hard! Get the first win tonight,” the father texted.
The Lakers won that game, 107-92, with Ellington contributing 9 points off the bench.
But after the game, Ellington received the news that his father was dead.
"For a son to lose his father … it’s very tough, it's unbelievable. It's crazy, I went from a great high feeling of excitement and joy to the lowest I’ve ever felt in my life," he told ABC station WPVI-TV.
The shooting remains under investigation, with no known suspects or motive.
The Lakers granted Ellington a leave of absence so he could be with his family.
“Our players are upset for their friend and teammate. Additionally, ownership and all Lakers employees are also saddened by this tragedy,” Lakers General Manager Mitch Kupchak said in a statement. “Those of us who work with and have gotten to know Wayne have come to know what a wonderful and caring person he is. Our hearts go out to Wayne and his family, as do our thoughts and prayers.”
But for the time being, basketball isn’t at the forefront of Ellington’s mind.
“People talk. At some point it will come out, and whoever did this, they’re going to get what they deserve in whatever way it is,” Ellington told WPVI-TV.