HoopsHype Chris Herren rumors

May 15, 2011 Updates

“After I overdosed and was arrested on June 4, 2008, I entered into a treatment center and my wife at the time was 8 months pregnant,’’ he said. “Against the advice of those at the treatment center saying I should just go home very briefly and see the birth of my child and come right back, I stayed for a couple of days, and I was getting high the next day. “And when I walked back to that substance-abuse center, this counselor told me to do the most courageous, admirable thing I ever did in my life — and that was to cut my wife and my kids loose, because I was the only thing that was negative around them. “That night, I contemplated whether that was the best decision, whether or not they would be better off without me. I laid in bed and I cried, and from that day forward, I have been blessed and fortunate never to have picked up a drink or a drug.’’ Boston Globe

He has few fond memories of his brief stint with the Celtics in 2000-01, which followed 45 games with Denver in 1999-2000. “With the Nuggets, I had a great experience,’’ he said. “I was around a lot of positive role models. When I was traded to the Celtics, I was surrounded by a lot of guys who were just young. “After my injury and diving into OxyContin, I was lost. I could really care less about who I was playing for; it was more important for me to get my daily fix of Oxy.’’ Boston Globe

May 12, 2011 Updates

Basketball Junkie, a newly released St. Martin’s Press book by Chris Herren with Bill Reynolds, tells of Herren’s arduous journey from prep start to drug dabbler to NBA player to addict. Though you can find out a lot about Basketball Junkie and Herren on the book’s Twitter and Facebook page, it’s really a must-read from cover to cover. And while we can’t post the whole book here—you can purchase it on Amazon—thanks to Chris and the good people at St. Martin’s Press, we’re able to post a sizable excerpt below. The book and this excerpt (which also appears in SLAM 149) will tell you where Chris has been and what he’s went through. Check back in next week for a Q+A and an update on what he’s up to now.—Ed. SLAM

I was dead for 30 seconds. That’s what the cop in Fall River told me. He said that two EMTs had brought me back to life. “Just shut the fuck up,” he said when I started to say something. “You were almost dead.” I was only a few blocks from where I had grown up, only a few blocks from B.M.C. Durfee High School, where there was a banner on the wall saying I was the highest scorer in Durfee history. I had gone off the street near the cemetery where Lizzie Borden was buried, Oak Grove. Maybe the worst thing was that I had just driven through Fall River for a couple of miles in a blackout, a ride I don’t remember to this day. When the EMTs found me there was a needle in my arm and a packet of heroin in the front seat. SLAM

A similar thing had happened four years earlier. I had passed out in a Dunkin’ Donuts drive-through window at eight in the morning virtually around the corner from my house. I had been arrested, it had been all over the media, and it had ended my basketball career. I had come home from a CBA team in South Dakota, trying to get back to the NBA after several years of playing overseas, trying for one last shot, trying to salvage my career. But this was worse. I had no money. Basketball was over. I had no job. My two kids were older now, 9 and 7, old enough to know what was on the news. Old enough for their friends to know what was on the news. Heather was eight months pregnant. SLAM

He was the hottest college coach in the country, he had NBA experience, both as an assistant coach and as a head coach with the Knicks, he had played at UMass and coached at Boston University, and at the time he seemed like the perfect guy to be the new Celtics coach. But here they were, just another young team going nowhere, in a league full of them. He was under tremendous pressure. He was Rick Pitino, one of the biggest names in basketball, and he was supposed to win. But by the time I got traded, I was happy for all the wrong reasons. I wasn’t happy because I was back home and had grown up idolizing the Celtics. I was happy because I was back home and I knew where to get drugs. I also had the money to buy them. It was a deadly combination. SLAM

March 29, 2011 Updates

Fall River native Chris Herren spent years battling addiction to cocaine, painkillers and heroin. Today, the former Denver Nuggets and Boston Celtics NBA player is almost three years sober and spends much of his time spreading his story to high school and college students in hopes of preventing them from giving in to peer pressure and falling to addiction. Sponsored by the Varsity Athletes Against Substance Abuse (VAASA) and the Bristol and Warren Substance Abuse Task Force, Herren spoke to freshmen and sophomores at Mt. Hope High School on Thursday. Herren told the packed auditorium of his struggle with substance abuse for much of his basketball career, which caused him to be expelled from college and traded from team to team. "From 1999 to 2005, I really don't remember playing sober," Herren said. "I had no desire to practice, I just showed up for games." Bristol-Warren Patch

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