While the NBA has had its fair share of criminals that either couldn’t shake their hood roots or lived the lavish lifestyle bigger than their massive budgets would allow, not many have left blemishes on the professional basketball image. Few exceptions could be Kobe Bryant’s rape case, Jason Kidd’s domestic abuse case but mostly consist of the run of the mill drug or gun charges. Even after careers that had players ballin on and off the court has proven detrimental with a list of All-Star players a mile long gambling away millions and filing for bankruptcy.
However, what better way to attract familiar media attention than pleading guilty for theft and forgery? Former NBA All-Star Chris Gatling did just that this month during accusations surrounding a potential “squatting” case.
The 11 year NBA veteran retired in 2003 and has recently been living in Paradise Valley, Arizona. “Living” is a generous word for what the 6’10 former center has actually been doing this past year in said residence. Staying, is a better word and more appropriately “squatting” in a home owned by California residents that up-keep the house including running water and electricity.
For an entire year, Chris Gatling has been illegally staying in the home and worse yet, inquired possible renters in the local Craigslist. According to the Arizona Republic:
“Gatling is accused of breaking into a key box and living in the home from July 2010 to August 2011. A police report says the homeowners lived in California but had left the power on. […] he later listed the four-bedroom house for rent for $800 and called it an “Ex-NBA” home online.
Court records say that Gatling got a down payment from one potential renter but that another got suspicious and contacted police.”
Besides “holding down the place”, Gatling has reportedly also been forging personal checks from a former girlfriend and routing money through College Bound All-Stars, a youth basketball league he managed and operated. This past Thursday August 8th, the former hooper plead guilty to one count of theft and one count of forgery to the Maricopa County Superior Court.
Allegations surrounding the forgery claims in April were deemed “a misunderstanding” by Gatling’s lawyer Micheal Alarid III but recently was quoted saying “no comment” about the recent guilty pleas surrounding this case. The sentencing will be held on October 4th in Phoenix, Arizona.
Chris Gatling drafted to the Golden State Warriors in 1991 was a one time All-Star that averaged a career best 19 points per game for the Dallas Mavericks and later bounced around from the Miami Heat, New Jersey Nets, Milwaukee Bucks, Orlando Magic, Denver Nuggets and the Cleveland Cavaliers but most recently could bounce himself behind bars in Arizona as a perfect display of when an Ex-NBA Star Turns to Crime.