HoopsHype Chris Herren rumors

September 17, 2014 Updates

Chris Herren made it from the coastal city of Fall River to his home team, the Boston Celtics. His path was paved with stints in rehab as he struggled with escalating abuse of substances ranging from alcohol to cocaine, crystal meth and heroin. From the early promise chronicled in “Fall River Dreams” by Bill Reynolds, a look at Herren’s high school basketball team to “Basketball Junkie,” Herren’s 2011 memoir and the ESPN film “Unguarded,” Herren’s life has been well-documented. On Monday, he will share that story in Greenfield. The talk, free and open to the public, is scheduled for 4 p.m. in the Greenfield Community College dining commons, in the main building at 1 College Drive. Daily Hampshire Gazette

April 10, 2014 Updates

Chris Herren was about to make his second appearance as a CSN color commentator, working last night’s game against the Hawks. The Fall River native and former Celtic was asked if doing this kind of work on a more regular basis is something that interests him. “Hey, one day at a time, you know? That’s how it goes,” he said, breaking into a laugh with his questioner. The phrase is familiar for those who, like Herren, have gone to war with substance issues. And while all involved therein know the battle doesn’t end, the quick wit displayed by Herren will serve him well as he enters the broadcasting field. “It is something that obviously I’m intrigued by,” he said before going on the air with Mike Gorman and fellow special commentator Ainge. “What’s nice is it gives me a break from what I do on a daily basis addressing substance abuse. It kind of gives me another outlet and another avenue. So it’s great for myself, it’s great for my family and it’s great to be part of the Celtics again.” Boston Herald

October 1, 2013 Updates

Greg Dickerson, Donny Marshall, and Gary Tanguay won’t be part of the network’s Celtics coverage this season, while president of basketball operations Danny Ainge and Chris Herren are slated to fill in as color analysts on at least a couple of occasions. Boston Globe

August 10, 2013 Updates
August 22, 2012 Updates

Legendary players such as Bill Russell and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar passed along tales of their exploits in the NBA, while another former player, Chris Herren, explained how his career was derailed because of a dependency on drugs. Beal had heard about Herren’s fall when Florida Coach Billy Donovan invited Herren to share his story with the team last season, but the message still resonated. “It’s a powerful story and it helps you actually realize how valuable life is,” Beal said, adding that the entire crash course was informative, especially after just signing a deal that will pay him $4.13 million this season. “I think the biggest thing I’m taking from this, how to handle your finances. Because you hear a lot about people possibly going bankrupt when they’re out of the NBA.” Washington Post

Just as Beal doesn’t plan to get ahead of himself as it relates to money, he also doesn’t plan to arrive at George Mason University for his first official NBA practice with any preconceived notions about his role on the team. “I want to just come in and try to earn everything. I don’t want anything given to me. I want to earn everything and show these guys that I’m a hard worker and I’m a winner,” Beal said. “You know we have a young team, but we have a few vets as well and I just want to come in and try to set the tone and try to get this team back on a winning pace.” Washington Post

February 26, 2012 Updates

I typed the last few sentences of my column about the recovery of former NBA player and heroin addict Chris Herren on Thursday while sitting at my kitchen table. I read it one final time, cleaning up a couple of clunky paragraphs. Then, I filed it and moved on. This is how it works. I don't look back. I file. I'm done. It's a strange feeling to dart toward the next column, asking "What's next?" knowing that by the time the first column reaches you it's faded behind me as I chase the next. Two days later, I'm standing against the rail at the roller-skating rink at Oaks Park, text messaging a 24-year-old heroin addict. And as my legs go numb, I realize that we never really know what's next. Oregonian

I watch the young children skate in circles. My 9-year-old is among them, with her friends, and I wave as they go past. Every few minutes, my cell phone lights up with a new message from "R," who tells me that he was on his way Friday to score dope when he got hit over the head with Herren's story. "R" was a heroin addict for three years. He said he quit June 4, 2011 and stayed clean. Before this week, I'd always imagined a heroin addict as filthy, jumpy, with a pair of shifty slits for eyes, making a buy under the bridge or on a corner. I've had it all wrong. As Herren said in the column, that's the sad, desperate, drooling image of an addict in his final days. Plus, "R" tells me of heroin, "You have to know someone who sells it. It's not on the street corners like in 'The Wire.' At least not in Oregon." Oregonian

Things have been tough for "R" lately. He had a bumpy ride as a child, and was raised by his grandmother. She's 98 now, broke her hip, and her health is deteriorating. Doctors recently gave her only a few weeks to live. And with this news, and his world crumbling around him, "R" did something foolish. He said: "I relapsed." "R" is a student at Oregon State, and first tried heroin after he turned 20. He can't get the drug in Corvallis, so he drives to Portland to get high with some friends who have been doing it for years. After the recent relapse, his best friend, and main support through sobriety, got fed up and stopped talking to him. "I've been using since," he said. Oregonian

February 24, 2012 Updates

Lately, Herren's been telling his story to anyone who will listen. He wrote the book. He's doing daily radio interviews. He spoke at a sold-out YMCA even a couple of weeks ago in Massachusetts. This Sunday, Herren tries to "win the day" in Eugene. No doubt, Herren will tell the Oregon players about the day his third child was born. This was a joyous occasion. After his wife gave birth, the former NBA player brought his other two children in to meet their new little brother. He kissed his wife. He pulled his family close together. He had all he needed, he thought. "Then, I walked out of the hospital and went straight to the liquor store and found drugs that night," Herren said. "I didn't come home until the next morning. My wife took one look at me and knew." He called her later and, through tears, told her that he wasn't qualified to be her husband or a father. A day later, he decided it was time to get sober. And Herren has been sober since August 2008. Oregonian

December 6, 2011 Updates

Herren was the subject of a recent ESPN documentary titled "Unguarded," an unfettered look at Herren's rise as a basketball star and fall into a life of drug and substance addiction that he could not crawl out of for more than a decade. Herren told his story to a group of Bangor Area High School students, their parents and also members of several Hazleton area basketball teams Monday night at the Bangor auditorium, one of several speeches Herren gives since regaining his sobriety. The speech was set up largely through the effort of Bangor boys basketball coach Bron Holland. "After being a McDonald's High School All-American, I went to Boston College and my freshman year, the coach, Jim O'Brien, walked up to me and told me there was going to be an assembly at the school and a former player from the New York Giants was going to speak about substance abuse," Herren told the packed auditorium. "I looked at him and told him there was no reason for me to attend. That had nothing to do with me." The Express-Times

Herren spoke about his time playing basketball overseas, which included stops in Italy, China, Spain and Iran. It was in Italy where he developed his heroin habit, his introduction to the drug coming at the hands of a drug dealer he'd never met shooting a needle into his arm while Herren looked away. He once received a package from a friend in the states, ostensibly containing OxyContin, in an Iranian federal express building with grim-faced heavily armed guards inside. He, nevertheless, still signed for the package and quickly raced out to his car where he sped into a nearby alley and opened it. "I was tearing away the packing to get at the center and there was a story from the Boston Globe (about Herren)," he said. "There was a note attached and it said, 'you need to come home and get yourself some help.' The note wasn't signed." But it eventually took the Mullins, who paid for a six-month stay at a rehabilitation clinic, to start his road back to sobriety. The Express-Times

November 21, 2011 Updates
November 16, 2011 Updates

If you think Chris Herren was in high demand two decades ago when he was one of the most highly recruited high school basketball players in the country, check out what’s happening to the Durfee High grad these days. Things have gotten crazy — mostly in a good way — since ESPN first aired the Herren drug addiction/recovery documentary, “Unguarded.” Jonathan Hock’s film was so popular, ESPN aired it twice more, with the Penn State scandal bouncing a planned fourth airing. The film made even more public Herren’s collapse into and escape from the frightening world of alcohol and drug addiction, and it has left the Portsmouth, R.I., resident wishing there were more hours in the day. People, virtually all with good intentions, are coming at him from all angles to thank him, share their challenges and to ask for his time. Herald News

He said he’s gotten emails and/or calls from Dwayne Wade, Chauncey Billups, Dan Patrick. “Hollywood people have called,” he said. “Agencies. CAA. William Morris.” (Would it really be surprising if Herren’s story ended up on the big screen? If it does, the burning question is who gets to play Chris’ brother, Mike). Herald News

November 3, 2011 Updates

Other than those who ran the treatment center that helped Herren turn his life around, the only people mentioned in Unguarded who actually kept Herren from destroying himself were Antonio McDyess and Nick Van Exel, veterans on the Nuggets team that drafted the guard. During training camp, McDyess and Van Exel pulled Herren aside and told him that they knew all about his struggles with addiction, and that he wouldn't be partying at all that season. Every night, he would be checking in with them, and when the Nuggets were on the road, he would be joining them for dinner instead of going out drinking. And it apparently worked. McDyess and Van Exel did what no coach, no family member, no friend, no mentor had been able to do for Herren: they held him accountable. When the Nuggets sent Herren to the Celtics, that support system was gone and Herren reverted. SB Nation

October 28, 2011 Updates

Former Fall River and NBA star Chris Herren’s descent into a near-death dance with drugs tragically played out on the public stage — and now, so is his resurrection. The former Durfee High School hoop hero was at the AMC Loews Boston Common with his family and friends the other night for the premiere of a starkly honest new documentary on his rise, fall and rebirth. “Unguarded,” an hour-long flick directed by Jonathan Hock and co-produced by Kris Meyer — the duo behind last year’s acclaimed Luis Tiant film “The Lost Son of Havana” — is a powerful look into the self-destructive disaster Herren’s life became and how he rebounded. “It’s painful,” Herren said after the premiere. “That’s the life I had to live. If I look back with regret, guilt or shame, I couldn’t be here today.” Boston Herald

May 20, 2011 Updates

As the dark and riveting pages of his new memoir, “Basketball Junkie,” unfold, his final NBA days in Boston were nowhere near the bottom. As he chased heroin and crack cocaine in bus terminals and back alleys across failed pro stops in Turkey, Italy and Iran, he lost all his jobs, all his money and ended up dead for 30 seconds in the back of an ambulance. In this basketball culture, plenty of people love a good white guard, and his talent kept getting him opportunities. Eventually, he drained his wife’s bank accounts with a tens of thousands-a-month heroin addiction. He ended up back in his hometown, broke, life in freefall, shooting up with his own children fastened into car seats. Yahoo! Sports

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