On Dec. 13, graffiti artist and Brooklyn Nets superfan Jeffrey "KORN" Vanchiro (aka Jeffrey Gamblero) passed away after falling from a second story window in Queens. According to the New York Times, KORN sustained "severe brain damage and a fractured spinal cord" after waking disoriented and leaping out of his father's apartment window.
Vanchiro was known to Nets fans as the guy who always brought energy and Jumbotron antics to the games. Two weeks before his death, he was removed from Madison Square Garden without his prosthetic leg by security guards, and his fiancée Kristi Evans told the Times that he had been "behaving erratically" ever since. "He was paranoid. He was erratic. He was frightened. He was horrified. He was a bit delusional. He was having a lot of trouble sleeping. He couldn’t sleep at all. When he would sleep, or try to sleep, it would only take about 10 or 15 minutes before he would jump up screaming covered in sweat."
To the graffiti world, Vanchiro was KORN, a writer who was raised in Queens and according to ANIMAL started writing his name on the streets back in 1995. "I knew KORN only by the iconic 'K' spray painted everywhere," writes Bucky Turco. "The bold, one letter throw-up—that he’d punctuate with a smiling or winking face—always stood out amongst the other tags with its character-like stylings." Like many graffiti artists, KORN eventually made the transition from the street to more legal venues, showing in gallery shows, selling works on canvas online, and creating murals.
Both the art and basketball communities have been paying respects to KORN this week. At practice on Monday, Nets center Brook Lopez said that Gamblero was "a huge part of [the atmosphere at Barclays]. He definitely brought unique energy to the environment, and [his death]...was tough for me to hear."