Leonard Laye, a longtime Charlotte sportswriter known for his likability and versatility, died in North Myrtle Beach, S.C., on Wednesday. He was 78. Laye worked for The Charlotte News and then The Charlotte Observer for close to 40 years before his retirement in the late 2000s, crafting stories on everything from NASCAR to football to high school sports. His real love was basketball, both at the collegiate and pro level. He was happiest sitting courtside, watching the final minutes of a tight game play out and then writing about it on deadline. “Nobody loved covering a basketball game more than Leonard did,” said Ron Green Jr., a fellow former Observer sportswriter.