In a shocking incident that occurred midday Black Friday, underachieving Bucks forward Ersan Illyasova was involved in an altercation with a local man at the Bucks practice facility. Both men are now in police custody with the other man having been identified as Leon Gorskzaki of Muskego.
Ersan Ilyasova had just finished running drills with the team and was being worked on by a physical therapist, when the door to her office swung open violently, hitting the wall with a loud thud. A somewhat portly, mostly bald man wearing glasses stood in the doorway, teetering slightly, and staring at the stunned ball player angrily.
"You son of a bitch. You bastard! Do you know what you're doing to me? Do you know what you've done? I could have won a championship this year. I could have BEEN something! Kobe's leading the league in scoring, Melo's way better this year, and Goran Dragic is ripping shit up. But you! How the fuck are you gonna get worse in every single fucking category? Do you realize that your scoring less than half of what you were last year. Less than half! What the hell is wrong with you? Your twenty-fucking-five-years-old, you're supposed to be getting better! If you were a horse you'd be glue by now."
Ilyasova was both shocked and terrified. "I didn't know what to make of it." He communicated to the press through his lawyer while in police custody.
I thought when he first opened the door that he was someone who worked there. But I was confused because he seemed so angry. Then when he started yelling and cursing, I didn't know what to think. He started to come towards us and that scared my masseuse away. He didn't even seem to care when she ran out the door, he just kept on yelling at me. It was clear by then that he was very drunk.
Although many details are still unclear, this much is known: Gorskzaki manages a fantasy basketball team which features Ilyasova. Over the past month, he had become filled with rage over the forwards poor performance, and obsessed with the idea of getting revenge somehow. According to friends and family, his behavior had grown increasingly unstable in the weeks leading up to Thanksgiving. Despite this, they had still been able to maintain some semblance of seasonal cheer. All of that changed on Wednesday night. Leon and his wife Sheila had gone alone to the movies. She spoke with reporters about the events leading up to the incident.
We had gone to the Oriental Theater downtown to see the Sessions. Things at the house were so hectic, what with it being so crowded and all, I thought it would be nice for us to have a night out. We used to go to the Oriental all the time when we were dating in college. He wanted to see the new Bond movie of course, but I told him that Helen Hunt spent a lot of the Sessions with no clothes on, and that was good enough for him. He was always so fond of Mad About You.
But not even Helen Hunt's breasts could prevent the calamity that soon unfolded. At 9:36 CST, midway through the movie, Leon received a text from a buddy.
Yo dude ur boy Ersan is sucking it up again. I can't believe u picked him in the 4th round. Ur such a retard bro.
He immediately pulled up ESPN.com on his phone. Viewing the box score, he let out an audible groan, causing his wife to chide him into putting his phone away. The momentary peace only lasted 9 minutes. At 9:47 his phone vibrated again several times in his pocket, and his wife's angry looks weren't enough to keep him from checking it.
Kevin Seraphin just gave me a 20/10 off the wire.
Leon hesitated before reading the next one, wiping away some sweat that had started to collect on his bare forehead. He looked over at his wife, who was staring back impatiently. After briefly feigning interest in the movie, he turned his attention back to the other message he'd received.
Do you remember the guy I drafted RIGHT AFTER u took Ilyasova? 37 points tonight for Paul George.
At this point he pressed a hand firmly against his brow, pushing down with increasing pressure, and causing his wife to nudge him sharply. No sooner than he had turned to look at her, did his phone vibrate again. He quickly went for it.
Heat win. Ilyasova 4 points 1 pathetic rebound tonight! I'm owning you this week. the Kobe Bean Counters can lick my NUTZ SON!!!
At this point Gorskzaki pretended to have to go to the bathroom. His wife became concerned when twenty minutes had passed and he hadn't returned. When he finally did come back, it was accompanied by a strong smell of booze. His wife was furious.
I still don't know where he got the Vodka. Sometime he carries a flask, but he was really drunk, like more than the flask will get him, and there's a liquor store at the corner. I couldn't let him drive home, and I can't drive stick, so we took a cab back. After he'd slept it off he wanted to go get the car right away, but I told him it was Thanksgiving so he'd have to wait until after we ate. As soon as we were done eating he left, and none of us heard anything from him again until this business in the papers.
His car was discovered Friday afternoon, having knocked over a parking meter on Hopkins Street. From there he took a cab, but quarreled with the driver when he was told he couldn't drink in the vehicle. When Gorskzaki attempted to bribe the driver, he realized he was out of cash, and was promptly kicked out of the cab. That placed him about a quarter mile away from the Bucks practice facility.
No one's quite sure how he gained entry into the building, but several witnesses reported seeing Gorskzaki asking for Ilyasova in an agitated manner. Once he had found him, it didn't take long for it to become a scene. Intern Dave Anderson recalls what he saw, after following the loud sounds of a confrontation into the hallway.
At first the guy was really laying into [Ilyasova] . I felt really bad for Ersan, since he's always so polite. Then all of a sudden the stranger burst into tears. He was blabbering something about a 25/25 night last season, and then the subject changed to the stranger's marriage. He was like, do you realize what you've done to my wife, and started saying some really personal things about his marriage, like how his wife will no longer look at him when he's naked. At this point Ersan tried to quietly sneak out, but that caused the guy to fly into a rage again.
According to the intern and other eye-witnesses, Gorskzaki tried to throw a chair at Ilyasova but missed wildly. At this point he charged the much larger man who easily threw him across the room like a sack of potatoes. Though initially dazed, the angry fantasy owner picked himself off the floor drunkenly, and once on his feet charged again, and was again flung across the room. This time he struck his head against the wall and ended up laying motionless on the floor for a few minutes. By the time he came to, Ilyasova was gone, having been replaced by two burly security officers who restrained him while police arrived.
Gorskzaki's friends and family alike were blindsided by the senselessness of his actions. Their words paint a picture of a far different man, a successful accountant, who loves his family, and was proud of his home town, even helping to organize multiple Milwaukee cultural festivals in the past several years through his job. Few of those around him could have anticipated what was to come. But some people, like friend Eric Johnson, noticed some warning signs.
Eric first met Leon in 2003, after he'd selected Leon's company to help him manage the books for his cleaning business in Waukesha. Over the years, they became close friends, regularly going out drinking together, and even going to a Bucks game from time to time. But this season Eric began to notice a change in his companion's disposition.
He's really been all moody and sensitive lately about his fantasy team tanking. I tried to tell him he shouldn't let stuff like that affect his life, but he didn't want to hear it. I remember we went and saw the Buck's first home game of the season together. He'd been bragging a lot about what a good fantasy GM he was, and how Ilyasova could average Moses Malone rebounds if he got the minutes. Once the game started, he watched in horror as Ilyasova grabbed a measly 3 rebounds, and missed shot after shot against the Cavaliers. He spent the whole ride home weeping, which really frightened me at the time. I told him we should talk soon and dropped him off.
The two friends didn't see each other again until last Saturday. They met at Brewksi's Sports Club to watch the Bucks take on the Hornets. Ilyasova started off hot, grabbing 3 rebounds and scoring 4 points in the opening minutes of the game. This made Leon hopeful, and he started to cheer up, laughing and joking freely. The pleasant atmosphere wouldn't last. Ilyasova started missing and Eric made a joke he would come to regret deeply.
He had this crackpot theory he wouldn't shut up about over the summer. Instead of going after Dwight Howard, he kept saying how the Lakers should've tried to trade Pau Gasol for Ilyasova and Jennings. Nobody took him seriously, but he's one of those guys who can get really hung up on some fixation and drive everybody nuts. I just couldn't help myself at the bar when I joked that Mitch Kupchak was probably sprinting to a phone to call the Bucks since Ersan had made two in a row. Leon immediately grew real silent, and his face started getting red. I was about to apologize when he suddenly slapped me. Right across the face, super loud so that everybody looked at us, sitting right there at the bar... I couldn't believe it. I just walked out. That was the last time I saw him.
When police arrived at the scene of the disturbance they placed Mr. Gorskzaki in handcuffs. Ilyasova was asked to accompany them to the police station as a witness. Once there, they placed Ilyasova under arrest as well, for assault and disorderly conduct. Team officials tried to explain to the police that their player was simply defending himself, but the arresting officer seemed strangely obstinate. As he sat in a jail cell, barely believing what had happened to him, Ersan says he found himself thinking of the world he left behind to come play in Milwaukee.
He grew up in Eskisehir, Turkey, a modestly sized city on the banks of the Porsuk river. As a teen, he'd travel freely around the city by way of one of the city's numerous river boats, or sometimes by riding his bike along the scenic paths that run alongside the river. Turkish fans are enthusiastic about basketball, but rarely nasty. He enjoyed his growing fame. In 2005 he was selected 36th by the Bucks in the NBA draft and left Turkey. Instead of going straight to Wisconsin, Ersan spend a year on the team's D-league affiliate, the Tulsa 66ers, an experience he describes as "depressing". He played the next year with the Bucks, but then traveled to Spain and played for FC Barcelona for two years, before once again returning to Milwaukee, signing a 3 year 7 million dollar contract in 2009. It's a decision he says he's come to regret.
I hate fucking fantasy sports. I get so much shit because of it. I can't go out to the grocery store, or the movies, or to fill-up my gas tank
anymore. And now here I am in jail. I don't need this shit. Back when I played in Barcelona, I used to eat at the world's finest restaurants and sleep with Spanish models. I live in fucking Milwaukee now.
You think I give a rats-ass what some moron fantasy owner does? I hope his team
gets its ass kicked. In fact, I'm gonna start turning the ball over more.
When pressed for a reason why he arrested Ilyasova, officer Eugene Makowski had this to say:
Yeah, I've heard all that 'self-defense' nonsense, but let me tell you, as somebody who's watched way too many Bucks games this year; Ilyasova ain't out there committing to any kind of defense, self or otherwise. I thought this bum was gonna make some noise this year. I even drafted him instead of Kyle Lowry. All the other guys at the department have been really riding me all month about that.
As of now, there's no word on whether Ilyasova will be available to play against the Bulls on Saturday, and how this wrongful arrest will affect fantasy owners. For the moment, managers who have John Henson or Larry Sanders are advised to keep an eye out for updates. As for Leon Gorskzaki, he was released on his own recognizance after it was discovered the arresting officer "forgot" to read him his rights.
In a related news, Jared Dudley has gone on record saying that the Suns need to beef up their security. And just a few hours ago Rodney Stuckey was reported missing by his family.