Stop letting the Jail Blazers era hold this franchise back!

The fear of the Jail Blazers era cannot hold this franchise hostage any longer. Ever since the famous 25 point pledge they gave to the fans they have avoided players with questionable character like the plague. However if players of the caliber of Carmelo Anthony, DeMarcus Cousins or Tyreke Evans become available we must take advantage, not sit back and say they don't fit the culture so we must avoid them. Championship teams don't let that stop them, they say we'll help you grow and fit our culture. I am not saying you need a player with character issues to win, just that having one or two guys on the team will not lessen your chances of winning or being a successful franchise. As long as the rest of the team is strong then guys like Cousins or Evans would not have a detrimental impact.

2012-2013 Miami Heat

Chris Andersen

He's had his fair share of problems throughout his career, he has really done well since he came back from the expulsion from the league though. From Wikipedia:

On January 25, 2006, Andersen was disqualified from the NBA for violating the league's anti-drug policy by testing positive for a banned substance. Andersen's suspension fell under the league's category of "drugs of abuse," violation of which is possible grounds for expulsion from the NBA under the league's collective bargaining agreement. Andersen attempted to appeal the ruling through arbitration, but the arbitrator ruled to uphold his dismissal in March 2006. As Andersen waited for his reinstatement effective which could be given in January 2008,he was helped by a lawyer friend in Denver, Mark Bryant, who became his adviser. Andersen spent a month in a rehab clinic in Malibu, and worked out and coached a boys' basketball team in Denver.

On March 4, 2008, the NBA Players Association granted Andersen's request to be reinstated as an NBA player. The reinstatement was effective immediately, and the rights to his services belonged to his former team, the New Orleans Hornets, who signed him to a contract on March 5, 2008.

From The Sports Fan Journal:

Aside from injuries, Andersen’s career appeared to be back on track. That was until May of 2012 when potentially the most damning of allegations were levied against him. It’s one thing to have a drug problem. There’s a certain sense of responsibility a person can take upon themselves saying, "Yeah, this is me. This is my problem. These are my demons." To have his name linked to potential "Internet crimes against children" was something totally different. The stigma of "pedophile" is a permanent stain, especially stemming from the success of MSNBC’s To Catch A Predator and the country still reeling from the Jerry Sandusky nightmare.

Bird’s house was searched and property was seized stemming from leads on Chris beginning in February 2012. Ironically, he was never charged with any crime, nor was there ever any intent to arrest him. Chris’ official statement helped support such, too. In something straight out of a Catfish episode, the story goes a young woman claiming to be 21 e-mailed "scantily clad" pictures of herself to Andersen in 2010. Communication continued to the point where they eventually met a year later. She flew to Colorado showing visual identification of her supposed age. Figuring there was something off-base, Andersen fell back and eventually the young woman left Colorado pissed off with his lack of attention. She then threatened legal action if she was not properly and financially compensated. Chris was excused from team-related activities and later released from the Nuggets.

Andersen was a huge part of the Heat's run this year and without some key plays from him during their playoff run they may not have won the Finals.

2011-2012 Miami Heat

Eddy Curry

From Wikipedia:

On January 12, 2009, Curry was sued by his former chauffeur, David Kuchinsky. Kuchinsky accused Curry of trying to solicit sex from him. According to court papers, Curry repeatedly approached Kuchinsky "in the nude," saying, "Look at me, Dave, look" and, "Come and touch it, Dave." The Manhattan federal court suit also stated that Curry made Kuchinsky perform "humiliating tasks outside the scope of his employment, such as cleaning up and removing dirty towels [into which Curry had ejaculated] so that his wife would not see them." Kuchinsky also said Curry called him racial slurs, including "f***ing Jew," "cracker," "white slave," "white devil" and "grandmaster of the KKK".

Kuchinsky claimed Curry owed him $68,000 in unpaid wages, as well as $25,000 in expenses which Curry never repaid. Those expenses, he said, included cellphones that Curry had him buy as gifts and hotel and club bills. Curry's lawyer, Kelly A. Saindon, called Kuchinsky's claims "preposterous" and "extortion". Federal judge Denise Cote dismissed the lawsuit on May 28, 2009 and sent it to arbitration.

Curry is the only guy on that team that had anything really questionable that I could find that year and was a complete non factor for the Heat.

2010-2011 Dallas Mavericks

This team had two guys with very troubled histories.

DeShawn Stevenson

He was accused of statutory rape of a 14 year old girl in 2001. He was also involved in a brawl right after he got drafted.

Jason Kidd

From Wikipedia:

Kidd married his first wife Joumana in 1997. In January 2001, he was arrested and pleaded guilty to a domestic abuse charge for assaulting his wife Joumana in anger. As part of his plea, Kidd was ordered to attend anger management classes for six months. Kidd completed the mandatory counseling and continued to attend on his own. He and his wife were both active in their church and were thought to have completely reconciled. On January 9, 2007, Kidd filed for divorce, citing "extreme cruelty" during their relationship. He contended intense jealousy, paranoia, and the threat of "false domestic abuse claims" to the police as reasons for the divorce. On February 15, 2007 Joumana Kidd filed a counterclaim for divorce, claiming that the NBA star—among countless instances of abuse—"broke her rib and damaged her hearing by smashing her head into the console of a car".

2008-2009 & 2009-2010 L.A. Lakers

For simplicities sake I am combining this entry.

Kobe Bryant

In the summer of 2003, the sheriff's office of Eagle, Colorado, arrested Bryant in connection with an investigation of a sexual assault complaint filed by a 19-year old hotel employee. Bryant had checked into The Lodge and Spa at Cordillera in Eagle County in advance of undergoing knee surgery nearby. The accuser stated that Bryant raped her in his hotel room the night before Bryant was to have the procedure. Bryant admitted an adulterous sexual encounter with his accuser, but denied her sexual assault allegation.

However, in September 2004, the assault case was dropped by prosecutors after the accuser refused to testify in the trial. Afterward, Bryant agreed to apologize to her for the incident, including his public mea culpa: "Although I truly believe this encounter between us was consensual, I recognize now that she did not and does not view this incident the same way I did. After months of reviewing discovery, listening to her attorney, and even her testimony in person, I now understand how she feels that she did not consent to this encounter." The accuser filed a separate civil lawsuit against Bryant, which the two sides ultimately settled with the specific terms of the settlement being undisclosed to the public.

Ron Artest/Metta World Peace

From The Huffington Post:

Ron Artest drank cognac during halftime of Chicago Bulls games, the Lakers forward tells the Sporting News. According to Artest, "I used to drink Hennessy ... at halftime. I (kept it) in my locker. I'd just walk to the liquor store (near the stadium) and get it."

From Wikipedia:

Artest was suspended for three games in 2003 for destroying a TV camera at Madison Square Garden, and for four games the same year for a confrontation with Miami Heat coach Pat Riley. He was also suspended for two games in the early 2004–05 season by Pacers coach Rick Carlisle after he allegedly asked for a month off because he was tired from promoting an R&B album for the group Allure on his production label.

Reacting to Wallace throwing something at Artest, Pistons fan John Green threw a cup of Diet Coke at Artest, hitting him. Artest jumped into the front-row seats and confronted a man he incorrectly believed to be responsible, which in turn erupted into a brawl between Pistons fans and several of the Pacers. Artest returned to the basketball court, and punched Pistons fan A.J. Shackleford, who was apparently taunting Artest verbally. This fight resulted in the game being stopped with less than a minute remaining. Artest's teammates Jermaine O'Neal and Stephen Jackson were suspended indefinitely the day after the game, along with Wallace.

On November 21, the NBA suspended Artest for the rest of the regular season, plus any playoff games. All told, Artest missed 86 games (73 regular season games plus 13 playoff games), the longest suspension for an on-court incident in NBA history... Artest lost approximately $5 million in salary due to the suspension.

On March 5, 2007, Artest was arrested for domestic violence, and excused from the Sacramento Kings indefinitely by GM Geoff Petrie. On March 10, Kings announced that Artest would return to the team, while his case was being reviewed by the Placer County District Attorney. On May 3, he was sentenced to 20 days in jail and community service. Artest spent only 10 days in the jail, as the judge stayed 10 days of the sentence, and served the remainder in a work release program. On July 14, 2007, the NBA suspended Artest for seven games at the beginning of the 2007–08 NBA season for his legal problems.

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