The following Opinion Corner ran in Tuesday’s edition of The Jamestown Sun.
Latrell Sprewell is in the news again and obviously it’s not good.
The former member of the Minnesota Timberwolves was recently arrested in Milwaukee, his hometown, for disorderly conduct after police received multiple calls complaining about loud music.
Things clearly escalated, and probably quickly, and Sprewell found himself in jail.
The most talented and decorated player to ever to come from Wisconsin isn’t remembered for his four all-star appearances, helping the Minnesota Timberwolves to the Western Conference Finals, or being a great defender.
Its incidents like this that have marred his image. Sprewell also had his share of bonehead moves as a player as well.
First and foremost who doesn’t remember Sprewell turning down Minnesota’s three-year deal in 2004 for $21 million?
If there’s one thing Sprewell would take back it probably be this quote he told the media after he turned down the contact extension.
“I have a family to feed … If Glen Taylor wants to see my family fed, he better cough up some money. Otherwise, you’re going to see these kids in one of those Sally Struthers commercials soon.”
Next year he had the worst season of his career and then failed to land with a team afterwards. Consider it forced retirement.
If you ever run into Sprewell the last thing you want to tell him is to “put a little mustard on it,” as then head coach P.J. Carlesimo did in 1997.
Sprewell, who wasn’t in the mood for criticism, choked the coach and threatened to kill him.
In 1995 the troubled star fought with a teammate, left practice and returned with a two-by-four. Then he threatened to bring a gun to his lumber fight.
It reminds me of Ron Artest, who saw a person get killed with a chair leg on the court when he was growing up in Queens.
Sprewell’s streak of getting into trouble continued as he eased into life after basketball.
In 2006, the year he “retired,” Sprewell was accused of … you guessed it, strangling someone.
The scary part is it allegedly happened aboard his 70-foot yacht he dubbed, Milwaukee’s Best. Charges were eventually dropped, but it’s hard to blame the police for investigating the claim.
Two years later Milwaukee’s Best was auctioned off after he defaulted on his mortgage. It’s the same yacht that ran ashore in 2007. Sprewell, of course, refused to contract with a professional salvage company, instead enlisting a local fishing ship to help out.
He also struggled to pay his taxes. In 2007 and 2011 Sprewell was among Wisconsin’s top tax deadbeats owing the state $3.5 million in unpaid income taxes.
So, I can see why the guy would want to play his music loud, it’s probably all he has left.
But with legal troubles again on the horizon I’m worried about Sprewell’s children. If it was bad before, he really must be having a tough time now putting food on the table.
Ben Rodgers is a frequent contributor to the Opinion Corner
Also the answer to the last post, a place in the picture where people go to find warmth that is well known in the newsroom, John M. Steiner’s wood pile.