Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Going Zero-To-Lost Custody In Less Than 8 Seconds.

Poor NBA. While it's proven that its players commit far fewer crimes per capita than the NFL, the league still has the reputation as being full of uneducated miscreants. Attendance is plummeting due to the worsening economy. Teams are hemorrhaging money. The CBA is up for renegotiation in a couple of years. TV ratings are down.

But you wouldn't know any of this if you looked at All-Star weekend. The dunk contest reached new heights of entertainment value. Ratings were up. Prepackaged next-gen stars like Kevin Durant and Derrick Rose did their thang and lived up to their Rookie Of The Year billings. And even though you could argue it was little more than shrewd marketing, watching Shaq and Kobe bury the final hatchet as West co-MVP's was a stroke of pure genius.

But of course, it can't be all good. Some a-hole just had to go ruin the party. Witness Phoenix Suns' guard Jason "J-Rich" Richardson, who prolly committed the dumbest, most heinous of crimes while the All-Star game was being played just miles away.
Phoenix Suns Guard Jason Richardson was suspended without pay for Tuesday night's home game against the Los Angeles Clippers after being jailed Sunday night for driving 90 mph in a 35-mph zone in Scottsdale with his 3-year-old son unrestrained in the back seat. Richardson was booked on counts or endangerment, reckless driving, failure to use a child seat and excessive speed.

"I just want to apologize to everybody, teammates, my family, especially my fiancee," Richardson said. "This is a tough time for me. I've been questioned as a basketball player, questioned as a person, but my fatherhood in question is tough, because I try to be the best father I can be and try to keep my kids out of harm's way."

Scottsdale police clocked Richardson, 27, traveling at 67 mph in a 40-mph zone of the 6500 block of East Camelback Road before the vehicle turned onto 64th Street. Police said Richardson then reached a speed of 90 mph in a 35-mph zone of the 5400 block of North 64th Street at about 8 p.m., when he was pulled over.

The police summary stated that Richardson identified himself as a Suns player and admitted speeding. The officer noticed that Richardson's son was not in a child seat in the back seat. He told the officer they were returning from dinner to his Paradise Valley home. No impaired driving was suspected by police.

Richardson's fiancee picked up their son, but Richardson remained in jail for a few hours.

Nine days after coming to Phoenix in a trade, Richardson was accused of DUI on Dec. 21 by a Salt River-Pima-Maricopa Indian Community officer. There is a pretrial conference on that charge on Tuesday.
Richardson just got a DUI a couple of months ago, while on the road for a game in Utah[1], might I add. Now, he gets caught not merely speeding, but going a whopping 55 MPH over the speed limit! He for all intents and purposes was going 3 times the speed limit!

But obviously the most disconcerting thing is the child endangerment. How can you go 9 MPH, let alone 90MPH with an unrestrained toddler in the back seat? What's going through your mind as you do that? Did this fool consider the fact that he might have to make a hard stop at some point? Did he sleep through physics class, too? Why did he leave the house without a child seat in the first place? Something tells me this isn't the first time such a thing has happened, just the first time he got caught. And what's with the whole "coming home from dinner" thing? Where do you "go to dinner" with a 3 year old, other than Mickey D's Playland? And why is this moron "speeding" home? Was he trying to catch that 2nd half of the All-Star game he didn't get chosen to play in? Has he ever heard of Tivo?

I'm no spring chicken. I know a Grand Hu$tle when I read one, and this my friends, is a textbook Grand Hu$tle. I suspect the real story behind the press release is forthcoming and it won't nearly be as simple as this initial account.

This guy should be immediately suspended for the rest of the season! Does the team not see an obvious pattern here, or are they too concerned about making the playoffs? In case you're unaware, this is hardly J-Rich's first brush with the law. A few years ago, Richardson was convicted of a misdemeanor domestic violence charge for pushing the mother of another of his children through a wall, then kicking her in a fit of violent rage. He was only suspended for three games by his then-team, the Golden State Warriors, mostly cause he can dunk really good.

His current "fiancee" (aren't they always?) would read the writing on the wall if she was smart and cared enough about her child's wellbeing, not to mention her own. Don't marry this idiot! Leave now, and walk away with full custody and a gang of monthly child support. Roll out before you get Rihanna'd, shawty!

At some point, the league has to step in and make an example of someone. I didn't necessarily disagree with Mike Vick's suspension from the NFL (the court verdict was another story) because the league needed to show these Negroes who was signing the checks, and that their a$$es were expendable if need be. You could argue whether or not that message was conveyed. Similarly, the NBA's suspensions of Latrell Sprewell and Ron Artest were necessary to put these fools in check.

But by only suspending the high-flying, high-scoring, non-thinking J-Rich for one otherwise winnable game vs the Clippers, the Suns show they're more concerned about the playoff race than doing what's right. NBA Commissioner David Stern should intervene and correct this wrong.

NBA Cares my black a$$. I suppose it cares when there's good PR involved, but for the safety and wellbeing on their own players' kids, the NBA clearly Couldn't Care Less.

Question: Is J-Rich's one-game suspension sufficient for the crime he's accused of? Should he get a longer suspension if he's proven guilty as charged? Do you think sports leagues do the right thing when they "make an example" of someone, or are they too lenient (ie: Pacman Jones) either way?

Richardson suspended 1 game after charge [TheArizonaRepublic]

[1] Can you even buy Patron in Utah?

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