15 Most Embarrassing Arrests in NBA History
Professional sports, and the NBA in particular are a lightening rod for attention, both negative and positive. One of the main things that gets attention in the NBA is when one of the players gets arrested.
Most of the arrests are lesser violations, as countless basketball players have been arrested for having a bit of pot (or some with bucket-loads of green), and those are to be expected, really.
The problem with the NBA is that many of the players are anointed as future superstars as early as middle school, and they become egotistical people before graduating high school. That, and teams resisting punishing these players too harshly lead to more serious violations or the creation of a team like the Jail Blazers.
Some situations are just embarrassing for players who were once on a high pedestal, while others are embarrassing for both the players and the league.
So which arrest was the most embarrassing? I'll run down the list of the top 15 for you right now.
15. Dennis Rodman
It's no surprise that Dennis Rodman has been arrested in his career, I mean, if I put 100 former basketball players in a room with Rodman included and had you pick the one guy most likely to be arrested, you would pick Rodman.
However, the rap-sheet that Rodman has racked up over the years is downright ridiculous.
He has been arrested twice for domestic violence, twice for drunken driving, obstructing justice, domestic dispute, and had police come to his house over 70 times for noise violations at his Newport Beach house.
14. James Worthy
In 1990, James Worthy was one of the most visible stars in the league on one of the most visible teams in the NBA.
So, when he was arrested in a police sting for soliciting prostitution in Houston it was understandably embarrassing for both the league and Worthy.
13. Allen Iverson
One of the big arrests involving Allen Iverson was the one when he was 17 and convicted as a part of a maiming by mob, but the one that is most embarrassing and indefensible is his 2002 arrest.
The charges included assault, weapons offenses and terrorist threats because he allegedly threw his wife out of the house during a fight and threatened two men with a gun while looking for her again.
Iverson was looking like one of the most exciting players in the league at the time, but he already had the reputation of being a bad boy; this only sent it over the top.
12. DeShawn Stevenson
In a case that shows the ego of NBA players and the idea that they are big enough to do anything, DeShawn Stevenson was arrested, accused of and convicted of statutory rape.
In 2001 as a rookie with the Utah Jazz, Stevenson admitted to taking a 14-year-old girl back to a hotel room, getting her drunk and having consensual sex with her.
He has had to live with the rape case ever since, and we have had to live with the annoying taunts toward the Dallas Mavericks since he joined the team.
11. Charles Barkley
Prior to his MVP season in 1993, Charles Barkley had been arrested twice for fighting off the court.
First, he broke a man's nose during a fight after a game against the Milwaukee Bucks, then he was arrested for throwing a man through a plate-glass window after he threw a glass of ice at him.
This all prompted Barkley proclaiming, "I am not a role model," and a national debate ensued. Really, Chuck made a great point here, parents should take a more active role to make sure that children know how to act properly and make sure they don't end up like Charles Barkley or one of the people on the Jersey Shore.
OK, that was my preachy bit for this article, let's move on.
10. Isaiah Rider
Isaiah Rider was arrested roughly 832 times while he was in the NBA, and the fact that he was able to last in the league as long as he did is the embarrassing part for the league.
While on the Minnesota Timberwolves, he was convicted of fifth-degree assault for kicking a manager of a sports bar, he was caught with weed more times than a college kid with some extra pocket money, had an illegal cell phone charge and a public gambling charge. All this was before he went to the Jail Blazers.
In all, he played nine seasons in the league, leaving a rotten taste in the mouth of every team that dared try to turn him around. He should have been kicked out of the league before the turn of the millennium.
9. Charles Smith
One of the lesser-known arrests and convictions in NBA history, Charles Smith, then of the Boston Celtics was involved in a few hit-and-run incidents that seemed to be just that.
In 1991 while driving under the influence, Smith hit and killed two Boston University students and was convicted of vehicular manslaughter and was sentenced to four-and-a-half years, serving just 28 months.
8. Jason Kidd
The late 90's saw the loss of Michael Jordan, the lockout and thuggish behavior send fans away from the NBA in droves.
Then the Lakers started bringing them back, and people started latching onto new, younger players, moving the league into the new generation.
Jason Kidd seemed to be a nice, wholesome player and a hard-worker for the New Jersey Nets, so when he was convicted of domestic abuse in 2001 it was obviously damaging.
Later, when he filed for divorce in 2007, he said that his wife was extremely jealous and would constantly threaten to call the police and falsely charge him with domestic abuse, which has helped recover his image, as she is seemingly a bit crazy.
7. Ruben Patterson
I would say that Isaiah Rider was the Jail Blazer with the highest number of arrests, but Ruben Patterson definitely had the most unforgivable offense. That, on top of the fact that he was just a terrible person pretty much ruined Ruben Patterson's reputation permanently.
In 2001, Patterson plead guilty to attempting to rape his child's nanny in September of 2000. Patterson then had to register as a sex offender, which was clearly a dark mark on himself and the league by association with Patterson.
6. Jayson Williams
We all know the story of former New Jersey Nets player Jayson Williams and his allegations of the murder of his limo driver, but I'll rehash it here for you anyway.
The story goes that Williams was giving a tour of his mansion to some of the members of his charity team while playing with a shotgun. The gun went off, killing his limo driver Costas Christofi.
Williams settled a wrongful death case with the family, paying damages of $2.5 million and was finally convicted in 2010 of aggravated assault, for which he is currently serving a five-year sentence.
5. Anotione Walker
You might ask how Antoine Walker getting arrested for writing bad checks because of his huge debts to Ceaser's Palace is worse than Jayson Williams killing a guy. This is an embarrassment for the league more than anything else.
It is embarrassing that David Stern and the league or the players association doesn't do enough to teach money management to these multimillionaires.
Too often you hear of a guy who has made millions of dollars in a decade or less end up broke soon after retiring. Even Allen Iverson, who made about $2 quadrillion in the NBA was rumored to have gone broke after his divorce and retirement.
I don't want to feel sorry for these guys who carry around a 20-man posse and have multiple mansions; but it's a bit hard not to.
4. Jack Molinas
In one of the first issues with gambling in the NBA, Jack Molinas, a former Fort Wayne Piston was arrested for his involvement in fixing games in college.
He was said to have been involved in a point-shaving scandal at Columbia University, where he and teammates would routinely bet on games, even against their own team.
Molinas was kicked out of the NBA not even a year into his career for allegedly betting on games, and his connections to the mob led to his arrest in 1961 and murder in 1972.
3. Fast Eddie Johnson
If it weren't for the death of Len Bias, Fast Eddie Johnson may well have been the face of the cocaine years in the NBA.
Endless cocaine use and his inability or unwillingness to kick the habit led to his expulsion from the league in 1987, leading to a downward spiral like no other.
After reportedly having been arrested more than 100 times between his expulsion in 1987 and 2006 ranging from petty theft to drug possession, Johnson was held for the rape of an eight-year-old girl.
In 2008, Johnson was convicted of sexual battery on a child under the age of 12, leading to a life sentence without parole, which he is currently serving.
He went from being the steal of the 1977 NBA Draft (taken 43rd overall) and an All-Star to being a complete train wreck.
2. Kobe Bryant
Yes I know, Kobe Bryant was never convicted of rape, but he was arrested, and it was one of the most embarrassing legal cases related to the NBA for a long period of time.
Bryant was one of the most popular and probably the second most well-known player in the league after Shaquille O'Neal, so having him involved in such an unsavory situation was embarrassing for both parties.
Kobe had to completely revamp his image and make himself be seen as a family man and a hard worker before people started to forgive him.
The worst part about it, however, is that whenever you see a conversation on the Internet that has anything to do with Kobe Bryant, some jackwagon inevitably chimes in, "At least (insert random player) didn't rape anybody." Hilarious, really clever my man.
1. Tim Donaghy
This is a no-contest.
The Kobe Bryant rape case was more high profile, but the Tim Donaghy case was more damaging to the reputation of the league, and it's not even close.
The Donaghy trial had Donaghy leveling allegations that fans have been throwing out for years—that the league employed referees who were "company men" and would influence games in the best interest of the NBA.
What's worse, the league was shown as vulnerable, and it was shown that they could relatively easily be infiltrated by a person who can make money off games he can influence the outcome to, and that he can be a part of the league for more than a decade before being caught.