HoopsHype Richard Dumas rumors
Markieff Morris already has played for the Suns longer than Dumas did. Dumas’ 128 games, including 23 in the 1993 playoffs, left everyone, except Dumas, wanting more. Dumas let it all go with amazing ease and lives simply now. He scraps to make a living with more appreciation than regret about his fame, which was fleeting in the NBA, even though it is everlasting in Suns lore. “I just played for fun and was blessed to do it,” said Dumas, who turned 44 on Sunday. “I didn’t get caught up in all that. People took it more serious than I wanted. Basketball ain’t my problem. Life was. It was off the court that I had my problem. That’s been a lifelong thing.” Arizona Republic
Dumas went astray again in 1998 for a cocaine arrest. He tried comebacks in Croatia, where he played center until he hurt his knee, and the minors, where he never showed up to play because he said he hurt his knee a day before his trip to Westchester, N.Y. More honestly, he said he had lost his passion. That kneecap sticks out of a bony joint today, but Dumas said hard-labor jobs have kept him in shape. “I don’t want to be sitting there looking like Charles Barkley on a Weight Watchers commercial,” Dumas said. Arizona Republic
Dumas said he lost all his NBA fortune on drugs, back taxes and a divorce but said he never played for riches. Today, he is trying to wipe the slate clean with basketball. He has started Richard Dumas and Friends Athletic Association, with the help of old friends for sponsors — Mark West and the Suns, Dan Majerle and his Majerle’s Sports Grill chain and Miller, who sells cars at Superstition Springs Chrysler Jeep Dodge. Dumas and Friends organizes sports camps and clinics, including Dumas coaching. At 6 feet 7, Dumas’ frame begs the question about whether he played basketball — most do not recognize him from the best season in Suns history. “I used to, back when I was young,” Dumas tells them. Arizona Republic
Dumas is living backward, finding joy on the court like a kid and reveling in chances to attend Suns games in the building he helped open. “I’m enjoying life,” Dumas said after a long pause of reflection. “I traveled the world. I’ve done what a lot of people wanted to do. “I did it the opposite way. Now I’ve got to work for a living.” Arizona Republic
Trouble followed like him like a shadow in Tulsa. His mother, who keeps childhood portraits of Dumas in her living room and a Bible on the coffee table, put Dumas in organized basketball and baseball to corral her mischievous child. His grades were fine. He never got in a fight. Dumas’ energy outlet was petty crime, busting windows and stealing candy from stores. His idle time turned him to drugs and alcohol. He said he tried alcohol at age 5 and marijuana at age 9. He blames his increased drug use, including cocaine, on former first lady Nancy Reagan. “She said ‘Just say no,’ so it got me interested,” Dumas said of the slogan that came out when he was 17. “It brought it to the forefront. We didn’t have any big drug problem until Nancy said to say no to drugs. Nobody knew about half of it. Now they’re showing it on TV about what it does.” Arizona Republic
Dumas is fidgety and scattered at times in conversation but exudes an overall calm. He said he has been clean for so many years that he does not recall when he took his last drug hit. “He turned out to be a good kid until he got in trouble,” said Ted Hooks, 59, a Tulsa neighbor and friend of Dumas’ grandfather. “Everybody was a Suns fan on this street. He’s a nice person who just got caught up in the wrong stuff. That’s what I hate about it. When he was on the court, he was a totally different person.” Arizona Republic
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