The NBA world mourned the loss of longtime Sacramento Kings beat writer and columnist Martin "Marty" McNeal on Thursday. McNeal passed away after a battle with leukemia with his wife Beverly and his son Phillip by his side. He was 64.
McNeal started at the Sacramento Bee in 1990 and became the Kings beat writer in 1992. For the next 20-plus seasons, McNeal was a constant presence around the Kings and became well known for his personality, work ethic and room-filling laugh. He transitioned into a columnist position for the Bee under the moniker "Marty Mac's World" in 2005.
In a statement, Kings GM Vlade Divac praised McNeal for a "unique storytelling ability unlike any other":
He had a magnetic personality, fiercely loved the game and was a legendary writer that inspired and entertained readers of all ages. He was also a beloved mentor and loyal friend to many, as well as a loving husband and father who will be greatly missed.
Prior to joining the Bee, McNeal wrote for the Dallas Times Herald.
After the news of his death, many NBA journalists took to social media to mourn the loss of a revered colleague.
Crushing to hear about the passing of NBA writer Marty McNeal.He was an AllStar.— MarkJonesESPN (@MarkJonesESPN) May 21, 2020
Used to love reading Marty Mac’s World column in the Sac Bee.He had a unique perspective.A pioneer. This brother would light up the media room whenever he walked in with his positive vibes
Rest In Peace to former NBA beat writer Marty McNeal. He was a mentor, kept it 100, had great relationships with everyone from the players to the coaches to the front office and lit up a media room with his personality. You are already missed brother and thank you for being you.— Marc J. Spears (@MarcJSpearsESPN) May 21, 2020
I'm incredibly sad to hear about the loss of my friend, Marty McNeal. This one-of-a-kind man was ALWAYS good to me.— Sam Amick (@sam_amick) May 21, 2020
So here's what we're going to do.
Read his old words for comfort - https://t.co/lsqYzPD5hy
Watch old video to smile - https://t.co/Pq8RGSN30E
RIP, Marty Mac.
The one and only Marty McNeal has left us, but will never be gone. To call him a friend was a gift. To call him a colleague was a blast. As real as they come, loud, a Thesaurus of cuss words, he couldn’t fake phony. I am so sad.— Scott Howard-Cooper (@SHowardCooper) May 21, 2020
One thing that will make me smile today, and over the next few days?— Carmichael Dave (@CarmichaelDave) May 21, 2020
Watch how many people from all walks of life share stories about Marty McNeal.
That’s when you know it’s a life well lived. When you’ve managed to touch so many in a positive way.
And man he’d hate it! 😂
This year continues to disappoint, as many of us who are, or were affiliated with the NBA lost another loyal friend today as former Sacramento Bee Kings beat writer Marty McNeal passed away. He was a mentor to many, always kept it real and will be missed. #RIPMartyMcpic.twitter.com/KaEmGN1XxQ— exhoopsprguy (@exhoopsPRguy) May 21, 2020
Marty McNeal was an OG. He was loved and respected. He will be missed.— Calvin Watkins (@calvinwatkins) May 21, 2020
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