A close friend of Kevin Durant, whom the star of the Golden State Warriors dubbed his "adoptive brother," was shot dead Thursday morning in a nightclub near Atlanta, on the occasion of his anniversary.
Clifford Dixon, 32, was shot several times in the SL Lounge car park shortly after arriving at 1am. He was rushed to Grady Memorial Hospital, where he died, in Chamblee, Georgia, police said.
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The police still did not arrest the shooter, who escaped from the scene, reported FOX5 Atlanta.
Dixon, born in Maryland, was organizing a birthday party at the bar, which he announced on Instagram, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution newspaper reported. The police told the newspaper that he was sometimes described as Durant's "adoptive brother."
Dixon was cared for by Durant's mother, Wanda, at the age of 16, reported Oklahoman in 2014. She offered her condolences on Twitter.
"Our family was an extension of his and we shared wonderful memories, his transition is an incredible loss for all those who loved him, we will miss him very much," she wrote.
Durant alluded to their close relationship in a 2014 MVP speech when Dixon was among the NBA star's thanks, the Journal-Constitution reported.
"There are days when I get upset after a game or a workout and you light up my day," said Durant, who played for the Oklahoma City Thunder at the time, during his speech. "Thank you guys. I would not be here without you. It's our trophy too.
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Dixon himself was a former athlete, playing basketball for Western Kentucky University during the 2009-10 season. He then played abroad in Mexico, Austria and Brazil, according to the Louisville Courier Journal.
Despite the loss of his friend, Durant played Thursday night against the Indiana Pacers, helping the Warriors to win 112-89. Durant had 15 points, six assists and three blocks.