I was thinking this week about some sports names that came up a lot during my childhood
and adolescence, and began to wonder: Where are they now? I’ve selected most of these athletes for their notoriety; some of them, however, I just genuinely wanted to know what they were up to. I’m taking suggestions and am interested in doing a Part II, so let me know which ones you liked, and which ones you’d want to see.
Shawn “Kids With Everybody” Kemp
Six-time All-Star Shawn Kemp averaged 14 and 8 over his career, while fathering seven children in the process. Bill Simmons, in his Book of Basketball, argues that Kemp would have been one of the greats, had he not suffered from so many off the field
distractions. Suffice it to say that Kemp’s name is synonymous now with wasted talent.
Now the Reign Man keeps trying – unsuccessfully I might add – to stay out of legal trouble. Several arrests for marijuana, cocaine, and gun possession mar Kemp’s post-NBA career. He’s tried to make a return to pro basketball, be it in the US or elsewhere. Most recently, he tried playing in China, but bailed at the last minute for “family reasons.” He also tried his hand in Italy, where he only played three pre-season games.
John “I’m a Racist Jerk” Rocker
John Rocker spent the majority of his career with the Atlanta Braves before bouncing to the Indians, Rangers, and Rays, but he is most remembered for his highly insensitive comments regarding the denizens of New York City. Everyone knows what he said, what’s the point of rehashing it.
Most recently, Rocker undertook a “Speak English” campaign, where he wishes to “promote and support the sustainment of the American heritage and the American culture” by strongly encouraging immigrants to speak English only. No big surprise there; what is surprising is the general lack of news surrounding John Rocker recently. He did try to make a comeback to the Long Island Ducks in 2005, which obviously ended, and in 2007 he became linked to a steroid pharmacy. Other than that, no news.
Latrell “Choke-Out” Sprewell
“Spree,” as he was affectionately nicknamed, spent his time with the Warriors, Knicks and
Wolves, averaging 18, 4, and 4, but two incidents taint an otherwise strong career. First, and most obviously, he choked out his coach P.J. Carlesimo when he told Spree to make a crisper pass, threatening to kill him. Second, and less known, he fought Jerome Kersey with his fists, then came back to the Warriors practice facility with a freaking two-by-four to beat him.
His penchant for choking did not end there. Recently, Sprewell was charged with choking a woman during consensual sex on his Yacht “Milwaukee’s Best,” which has since been repossessed. Dude is flat broke now, and probably still choking people or hitting them with two-by-fours.
Marvin “What Happened to Me?” Harrison
Eight years of 1100 yards receiving plus, greater than 65 yards a game, and each season scoring over 10 touchdowns may all be overshadowed by a strange end to Harrisons career. Part of one of the most consistent offenses in the last decade, Manning-to-Harrison represents the most TDs by a wide receiver quarterback tandem ever. Seemingly known for his quiet, subdued demeanor – and the relative absence of off-the-field issues relative to his contemporaries – Harrison seemed like an ideal NFL receiver until some serious allegations arose. Where is he now?
The Gentleman’s Quarterly blew the lid off a quiet investigation by the Philadelphia District Attorney that Marvin Harrison was accused of shooting at a fat man named Dwight Dixon outside of Harrison’s bar. Since then, the Feds became involved in the investigation of Dixon’s death, but Harrison has indicated his desire to continue playing through Tony Dungy – along with his desire to get paid. Odds are no one will pick up the risk of Harrison, as he was slowing down in later years anyhow.
Clyde “The Glide” Drexler
Hall of Famer Clyde Drexler averaged 20, 6, and 5.5 over the course of his career as a Blazer and briefly as a Rocket. Some say he was the Pippen to Hakeem’s 1995 championship. Named one of the 50 Greatest Basketball Players of all-time by the NBA, The Glide was a high-flying guard-forward to be reckoned with.
Where is he now? Well, after amassing a miserable 19-37 record as coach of the University of Houston’s basketball team, Drexler tried his hand at “Dancing with the Stars,” where he was the fourth celebrity eliminated. He currently resides in Houston, where he manages Drexler Holdings, a real estate holdings company, and thinks that the NBA should probably get a team in London.
Michael “When American Tennis Was Good” Chang
Known as the youngest player to win the French Open – the day after Tiananmen Square, no less – Chang’s signature jumping backhand fit nicely with the Golden Age of American Tennis. Although Chang did not experience much Grand Slam success outside of the
Most recently, Chang was studying theology at Biola University in La Mirada, CA, where he is aiming to become stronger in his Christian faith. Other than that, seems like not much to report – Chang’s post-tennis life seems to be marked by the same perseverance as his professional career.
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 http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/vault/article/magazine/MAG1027842/index.htm. Compare with, Terell Owens, Chad Ochocinco, Keyshawn Johnson, Randy Moss.
 See, Andre Agassi, Pete Sampras, and Jim Courier, amongst various others.