NBA stars are extremely popular, and the professional basketball players find themselves in the limelight for more than just their skills within their field. On many occasions, players have learned the hard way that the interest of the media lies more in the gossip they can create regardless of whether it is true or false. Controversy has become another part of the game because of the popularity of basketball.
What are the controversies which have become popular over the NBA? We have been looking at players, coaches, broadcasters and even referees, and we have come across some of the biggest scandals ever to shake basketball. Let us make a beginning with a love story which proved bad for the game and the individuals involved.
I am, first of all, a basketball player. I’ve done this for so very long… For me, it’s been essential to be successful on the court. Tony Parker
Tony Parker Ditches Eva Longoria
A number of international players have found their way to the NBA, but few have been successful as Tony Parker. Tony played with the San Antonio Spurs from 2001 coming in from France and helping the team win four NBA championships and also making six All-Star game appearances. It was definitely a record which was worth emulating.
Apart from the tremendous skills Tony had he also took the media by storm because of his marriage to Eva Longoria in 2007. This looked like a picture-perfect pairing, and the couple seemed to have everything they wanted. However, faith was not a quality which was prevailing within the marriage, and the relationship proceeded to a divorce in 2010. Tony was sending text messages, which were inappropriate to Erin Barry, who was the wife of his teammate Brent. Eva Longoria managed to get away from Tony with a quick divorce.
Jayson Williams was drafted during the first round by the Phoenix Suns in 1990 and had a career spanning nine years in the NBA. It also included an early trade to Philadelphia 79ers and another one in 1992 to the New Jersey Nets. By 1996, William’s career took off and also led to an All-Star game appearance within 1998. Fate, however, had other plans for Williams after he was injured and forced into retirement along with a lengthy legal battle which ended his career.
After suffering from a broken leg in 1999 and announcing his retirement the drama for Williams had just begun. He was giving a tour of his home in 2002 and messing around with a shotgun which went off and killed a limo driver. Williams was charged with accidental manslaughter and for trying to cover up the shooting he was sentenced in 2010 to five years in prison after an extended trial. He was released in April 2012 after serving 18 months of the five years he had originally been sentenced to.
Michael Jordan was a superstar for Chicago Bulls and any scandal without the most recognizable face in NBA history would not be one worth considering. Michael was considered as the best basketball player of all time and the Bulls along with Jordan were a dominant force within the NBA after winning three simultaneous NBA titles and giving Jordan’s career and aura of invincibility.
At the height of his career Michael announced his retirement and shocked his fans throughout the world. He confirmed his retirement with the intention of pursuing a career in professional baseball. Even as people were confused, the actual reason behind the retirement was never disclosed, even as usual rumors ran wild. Michael dealt with a notorious gambling problem which had led to his father’s murder, and he was on the brink of suspension from the NBA. Many people believed that baseball was a way out for Jordan to try to save face. Regardless of the reasons which were spoken about the answers were all sketchy.
Kobe Bryant was just as popular as Michael Jordan and was acknowledged within the NBA as one of the greatest players ever to step on the basketball court. Bryant, however, could not stay away from drama and managed to earn his own scandal in 2003.
During the summer of 2003 Bryant was detained and investigated for accusations of sexually assaulting a 19-year-old hotel employee. If being detained wasn’t shameful enough Bryant also made an admission over national television that he had committed adultery even as his wife was sitting beside him during the admission. Brian, however, maintained his innocence to the allegations of rape. He took a devastating hit in his career and lost several endorsement deals. He is presently working to rebuild his public and private lives.
I have to tell you, I’m proudest of my life off the court. There will always be great basketball players who bounce that little round ball, but my proudest moments are affecting people’s lives, effecting change, being a role model in the community. Magic Johnson
These scandals would never have made it to the front pages had it not been for the ever-present media but unfortunately for these players the scandals spoken about all have different endings. While Tony Parker got away with a divorce, and Jayson did time in prison the reasons for Michael Jordan’s retirement are still sketchy and Bryant has maintained he is innocent of the charges of rape. Under the circumstances, the public can only speculate whether the media has merely made-up stories or is reporting the truth as it really was.