Former NBA player Erick Barkley is well regarded in the New York area for his work in youth basketball, but the ex-Portland Trail Blazer crossed the line when he allegedly attacked a father following a game.
According to Richard Johnson of the New York Post's Page Six, Barkley coaches his nine-year-old son as part of the Basketball Stars of New York. After his son's team lost a one-point playoff game, Barkley allegedly punched the father of a player on the opposing team repeatedly.
Per Johnson, one parent who attended the game said that the bad blood between the 36-year-old Barkley and the other father started prior to the game.
Before the game, Barkley got into a beef with the father of a kid on the other team. Barkley said the kid couldn't play because he was on more than one team. After a half-hour of arguing, the kid was allowed to play.
Although Barkley was handcuffed and about to be arrested, he was reportedly let go when the alleged victim declined to press charges.
The third-grade AAU game took place in Ardsley, N.Y., according to Troy Machir of Sporting News.
In a video posted on Instagram by Tom Berri, a man who is allegedly Barkley can be heard arguing with another person before chaos ensued (Some language NSFW):
Despite Barkley's alleged antics, there appeared to be some sympathy for him in the wake of the incident. According to Johnson, one parent was surprisingly uncritical.
"He's not a bad guy," the parent said. "He just likes to beat people up."
Days before the incident occurred, Basketball Stars of New York wished Barkley a happy birthday and lauded his work with the kids on the team:
Happy birthday to our #1 coach. A difference maker to the kids and all of our coaches. Erick Barkley— Basketball Stars (@bballstarsny) February 22, 2014
Perhaps Barkley is an excellent coach, but there is no question that he let his competitiveness and temper get the best of him.
Barkley spent the 2000-01 and 2001-02 seasons with the Blazers and scored a grand total of 77 points in the NBA as a reserve. He is probably better known as the starting point guard at St. John's University.
Barkley averaged 16 points and 4.5 assists per game in 1999-00 for the Red Storm while playing alongside Metta World Peace.
Because of his success at St. John's, Barkley is well known in the New York area. Such actions are unacceptable for any coach or parent, but that fact is heightened in Barkley's case since he is a former NBA player who is likely idolized by the children.
It remains to be seen how Barkley's standing with the team will be impacted, but if he is allowed to continue coaching, then hopefully he learns from the situation.
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