Really. This fucking picture, the result of a recent arrest for burglary, has been stuck in my head for days, like the scene where they kill Santana in “American Me” did when I was 18.
Hardly an uncommon story in the world of basketball, to be sure. Plenty of insanely talented guys have had their career derailed by demons or bad decisions, from Lloyd Daniels to Earl the Goat to Avondre Jones (The Samurai!) and so on. Fuck, I could write a top 50 Basketball tragedies story off the top of my head, not that I’d ever want to.
Chalk it up to a number of factors. Everything from rough childhoods to bad advice to having to make crucial life choices at an age where most people are just lucky to avoid doing stuff dumb enough to land them in jail or worse, whether it be for any sort of real crime or goin’ apeshit at the Frat party or whatever.
Hey, I’m not really a sociologist and shit so pardon me if I struggle to make sense out of these kinds of tales. All I know is this kind of thing never stops happening. Some people are going to slip through the cracks no matter what, since the difference between a guy getting arrested for spousal abuse or drug possession is often merely the product of luck or good timing, and there is no Supreme Court in charge of giving second chances. Think about the guys who got one and were redeemed. The Josh Hamilton’s of the world, for example. Some guys get a do-over, some guys do Cocaine on the night they are drafted and their heart explodes. Don’t bother trying to make sense of it, because there is none to be made.
I remember Victor Page vividly. Well enough to write the scouting report, even. Left-handed scorer. Cocky. Nose like Kevin Dillon’s. Hard to forget a guy who came across as the biggest ball freeze on a team that included Allen Iverson. I thought he was an NBA player for sure, even if there was almost a certainty to the fact that the guy was gonna end up in trouble sooner or later. Read his story and it’s not as if the guy comes across as entirely sympathetic or whatever. I mean, he made alot of his own bad luck, from missing the pre-draft camp on a bender to actually chasing an opposing player off the court with a broomstick in a CBA game. Truth is, the guy isn’t anybody’s saint.
I wish any of that made me feel even a little less shitty about that picture.
Cred Auerbach can be reached at email@example.com