retired legenditis
Symptoms of Retired Legenditis may include becoming the target
of humiliating banners flown over southern California beaches.

Retired Legenditis (re-tird' lej'-uhnd-it'-is) noun. An acute psychological disorder that causes some (but certainly not all) NBA legends to lose their damn minds during retirement. At best, the ensuing erratic and unpredictable behavior embarrasses both them and their families. At worst, it sullies their legacy forever.

Usage example: Reggie Miller is the latest former NBA great to contract Retired Legenditis.

Word History: The term was coined last night (August 11, 2009) by Statbuster while we were discussing Reggie Miller's very public feud with Alex von Furstenberg, a Malibu surf shop owner and son of fashion legend Diane von Furstenberg. Apparently, Reggie spent several months flirting with von Furstenberg's fiancé -- clothing designer Ali Kay -- which caused von Furstenberg to go apeshit. It probably didn't help that Kay sent Reggie a couple sizzling pics via text message. Restraining orders were filled out by both parties but never filed, and von Furstenberg paid a small plane to fly a banner over the beaches of Malibu to warn Reggie off of married women. Bad times all around.

This mess was of course preceded by Reggie having a tramp stamp tattooed around his belly button and pouring vodka down the gullet of some barely-legal babe while wearing a ghastly sweater vest. Remember when NBA legends retired with dignity?

Oh, right. You probably don't. Not with Charles Barkley getting busted for DUI and then telling the arresting officer "I was gonna drive around the corner and get a blow job." (Later at the police station, Sir Charles told another officer "I'll tattoo my name on your ass" if he helped "get him out of the DUI.") Oh, and let's not forget Chuck's gambling addiction or that time he had a civil complaint filed against him for a $400,000 gambling debt he accidentally forgot to pay. He also joked about Isiah Thomas' alleged suicide attempt at a press conference (more on that below).

Hey, I guess it's tough being a basketball legend who doesn't play basketball anymore. Julius Erving made a sex tape with a woman who was not his wife, and that tape was mysteriously released during his messy divorce trial. Elgin Baylor spent a couple decades ruining the Clippers. (And after Elgin was FINALLY fired, he filed an employment discrimination lawsuit against the Clippers, team owner Donald Sterling, and the NBA. He alleges that he was underpaid during his tenure with the team and then fired because of his age and race.) Kevin McHale completely McFailed as GM of the Timberwolves. Larry Bird is still running the Pacers into the ground. Magic Johnson made a couple ill-fated comebacks (the second of which featured an ejection and suspension for bumping a referee and then claiming the ref bumped him), embarrassed himself with an ugly 16-game coaching stint with the Lakers (during which the team went 5-11), and then totally bombed as host of The Magic Hour (after which he blamed his failure on a lack of support from African American celebrities).

Michael Jordan completely mismanaged the Washington Wizards (epitomized by his selection of Kwame Brown with the number one overall pick in the 2001 NBA Draft) until he was fired by owner Abe Pollin. The sacking came despite MJ's two-season comeback with the Wiz, during which he "led" the team to back-to-back 37-win seasons and utterly failed to make the playoffs (despite guaranteeing a postseason berth). Things have gone only slightly better with the Bobcats...seeing as how Mike only wasted the third overall draft pick of the 2006 NBA Draft on Adam Morrison. But that's the sole improvement. MJ also likes bumping and grinding with the barely-legals. And here's some more evidence that his divorce didn't exactly break his heart.

And then there's Isiah Thomas. First, he destroyed the CBA. Second, he got fired as coach of the Pacers by his former rival Larry Bird. Then he became GM and later the coach of the New York Knicks...otherwise known as The Greatest Epic Fail in NBA History. Shortly after the Knicks finally canned him, Isiah apparently tried to commit suicide by overdosing on sleeping pills. He then claimed it was his daughter who tried to kill herself. The truth was never made clear, but when asked about the situation during a press conference, Isiah couldn't deny it was a suicide attempt.

The moral of this post? Maybe it's better NOT to become an NBA legend.

Labels: , , , , ,

32 Comments:
Blogger chris said...
I think the Dr. J and Mailman examples are too obvious at this point...

Kevin McFail as GM...

Ouch.

Elgin Baylor running a team!

Blogger Wild Yams said...
If you're gonna include Jordan's post-NBA exploits, you probably should include this episode. This one too.

Blogger Steve said...
Well you gotta add the legends that did succeed after basketball...

Shawn Kemp?

Anonymous Anonymous said...
Jerry West did alright for himself, managing the Lakers to the Showtime and Shaq-Kobe titles, and turning Memphis into a playoff team. (The bonehead gift of giving Gasol to LA happened after West retired in 2007).

Anonymous Anonymous said...
Jerry West was a success i would think. Same with Bill Russel, but i think its cause they didn't make enough money to go crazy after they retired.

Blogger AnacondaHL said...
Truck Party -> 24-h webcast.

Blogger Joe said...
Larry Bird won't win many father of the year awards but pre-Brawl he was decent GM/coach for the Pacers.

Blogger Wild Yams said...
I think there's modern day retired legends who have done a good job of staying out of trouble as well. Look at John Stockton, for instance. Dirty player though he might have been (possibly), that guy was pure class off the court and clearly had zero interest in any fame or notoriety and just wanted to play basketball. The guy didn't even hold a press conference when he retired. I also found this interesting (from Wikipedia): "Stockton avoided endorsements, and stayed loyal to Utah despite being offered significantly more money by other teams. In 1996 he agreed to a deal that made salary-cap space available so the team could improve, but insisted on guaranteed Delta Center ice time for his son's hockey team."

Blogger Basketbawful said...
Anonymous, Joe and Wild Yams -- You all make very fair points, and I updated the definition to say some (but certainly not all) NBA legends to highlight the fact that some of them stay sane.

Blogger CassavaLeaf.com said...
the funnies part of this entire story is that Alex was married when he met Ali Kay and divorced his wife so that he could be w/her.

it was okay for a single person to pursue him while married but not okay for someone to pursue his fiance.

karma is a bitch

Blogger CassavaLeaf.com said...

Blogger CassavaLeaf.com said...
How about Ralph Sampson ducking child support
or
Patrick Ewing Snickers commercials
that wasn't a good look (as the kids say)

Blogger AnacondaHL said...
Whaaaat. Patrick Chewing is one of the greatest commercials, no, anything ever done by an ex-NBA Star. Obviously not in the Kareem with Bruce Lee and Airplane level, but still in Tier 2.

Didn't Reggie's sister call him boring in "Beyond the Glory" and they showed him bowling with his low key buddies...Dude is pimping right now, catching up for all these years spent in a small market.

Blogger Dan B. said...
Much respect to the Patrick Chewing commercial and his epic high top fade hair in it.

Blogger T-Mill said...
I am almost 30 and I doubt I could bang 25 year olds. REegie can do what Reggie wants.

Blogger kade.fowers said...
Wild Yams - that stuff on John Stockton is really impressive. I grew up in Utah and loved watching him play. I knew he was a good guy, but I didn't know he was THAT good. If only there were more players with that attitude: putting his family and team ahead of money and recognition.

Blogger DDC said...
...and then totally bombed as host of The Magic Hour (after which he blamed his failure on a lack of support from African American celebrities).

Magic should have included the fact where the show sucked as well. I'd think that might have caused the show to bomb.

Anonymous Wormboy said...
I find this a sad comment on humanity. I'd guess that most people, put into that situation, would lose their head at some point. It's not like they are expected to be real human beings at any point in their adult life. The mother ship existence begins in high school with most of them.

So really it says a lot about the legends that DON'T become freaks. Those must be exceptional people.

Anonymous Wormboy said...
PS Am I the only one who has difficulty taking seriously a spoiled boy who inherited his wealth rather than hustling it up on his own? Poor baby. Poor hypocritical baby.

Blogger Steve said...
As a laker fan I loved watching Magic play, but he is so bad on the camera. It's like he wants to be quoted with wise words of knowledge but they all just fall flat on the floor.

Along with John Stockton, I believe Pete Maravich was also a stellar retiree. Him and Jerry West are all exceptions to the rules.

That being said, I loved the Patrick Chewing commercials.

Anonymous Marc said...
Maravich, yes, besides the alcoholism.

But I'm an alcoholic, and I'm most certainly not a legend, so I guess it's not so strange.

Joe D did alright too, besides the Billips gaff. Altho I have no idea about his personal life.

Blogger Michapalooza said...
Low Blow on MJ Bawful, let the man enjoy him self...

I don't regard myself poorly for doing the same thing in the past. I'm sure you and ET would have gotten up to some shenanigans in Italy if you'd had one too many vinos in Pisa.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
Alonzo Mourning seems to be off to a pretty good start with his retirement with all the charitable stuff he's got going. Hopefully he keeps it up.

Blogger Preveen said...
I can't find the heart to blame the poor woman if she did flirt with Reggie while being engaged. How many women would wanna be stuck with a name like "Mrs. von Furstenberg"? Well, American women anyway.

Blogger the greek adonis said...
How about Tim Hardaway hating on homosexuals and calling out Zulu?

http://www.ebaumsworld.com/video/watch/278485/

Blogger Will said...
I think the main reason the stars of the past over all behaved well after retirement is they weren't regarded as gods from the age of 8. It seems the latter day stars absolutely have to have the spotlight on them,so they behave stupidly.
Steve- It's pretty easy to behave well in retirement when you die a few years after hanging it up.

Blogger Cortez said...
"Dirty player though he might have been (possibly)"

I hate this never ending claim.

Stockton WAS NOT a dirty player.

I've watched 1000's of minutes of Stockton on the court and everything I have seen that is being claimed as dirty is absolutely false or a reaction to an over the top physical blow given to him because he had the gall to set a legal cross screen in the lane.

As an aside, here is one indirect way you can feel safe in assuming he was not a dirty player.

He was 6'1" and 185 and no one beat his ass in 20 years for all of his supposed dirty play.

Stockton was a beast and quite possibly the best POINT guard I have ever seen, period.

Blogger Basketbawful said...
Cortez -- Holy crap. I literally could not agree more.

I've always felt that all the hating on Stockton for his supposed dirty play was the same as the distaste people feel in pickup basketball for players who play relentlessly hard on offense and defense, every game, every night. I can't tell you how many times people have called me dirty or questioned me in some way for setting legal (but very hard) picks.

Basketball is a contact sport. Maybe it wasn't invented to be that way...but it's that way.

Blogger Cortez said...
"I can't tell you how many times people have called me dirty or questioned me in some way for setting legal (but very hard) picks."

I've had people question the validity of even setting a screen in the first place!

After a while I started responding with something like the following.

Hey chief, how about you give me a complete list of the other legal and standard basketball maneuvers I should avoid performing. Should I dribble with my left hand only? No drop steps? Got it, ace.

Also, what the hell is a "hard screen" anyway. I'm standing still nitwit, you, and your limited court vision, ran into me.

Blogger Wild Yams said...
For the record, I agree with both of you 100% that Stockton was not a dirty player. Thanks to Dennis Rodman he now has (and probably forever will have) that reputation, but I always just thought he was a guy who gave 100% effort every single time and who played the game the way it should be played. That's why to me hearing about his behavior off the court made perfect sense, because he always struck me as a very principled guy with a real sense of how things should be done that he stuck to no matter what. I'm a Laker fan, and as such never rooted for Stockton's Jazz, but I daresay there isn't a person I've ever watched in the NBA who I respected more. IMO, his approach to the game and his philosophy about what it meant to be an NBA player was flawless. I wonder if we'll ever see another person with that kind of integrity associated with the NBA.

Anonymous Story said...
Other than Stockton, I think David Robinson would be the most surprising candidate to come down with retired legenditis.

Links to this post:
Create a Link