Adrian Dantley Rumors

The Pistons went on to win their first NBA championship that season, then repeated the feat in 1990, and the rest was history – or was it? “That was 25 years ago, yet you sound today just as angry as you were 25 years ago,” Dery told Dantley. “Is that accurate?” “Well yeah; I mean, It’s not that I’m angry, it’s just that there’s no need for me to get involved with that,” Dantley responded. “Yes, I guess you could say that I’m just the way as I was 24 or 26 years ago.”
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One of ESPN Films’ most-anticipated 30 for 30 projects has an official airdate: The Bad Boys, which chronicles the dynastic Pistons teams of the late 1980s and early ’90s, will debut Thursday, April 17, at 8 p.m. ET on ESPN. The film is a collaboration between ESPN Films and NBA Entertainment — they partnered on the brilliant “Once Brothers” and the terrific “The Announcement” — and Boys has the potential to be one of the better 30 for 30 efforts. (NBA Entertainment also produced the last year’s sensational “Dream Team” documentary for NBA TV.) More than 40 people were interviewed for the film, including the Pistons’ main principals (Isiah Thomas, Bill Lambier, Dennis Rodman, Joe Dumars, Adrian Dantley. Vinnie Johnson, John Salley, Mark Aguirre etc. …) and rival Michael Jordan. Following the film, ESPN will air a one-hour discussion from 10-11 p.m. ET on the Bad Boys Pistons era. That show will be hosted by Bill Simmons and Jalen Rose, and ESPN NBA analyst Doug Collins will also appear along with several Pistons players from that era. I’ll have more on the “The Bad Boys” in a standalone piece on SI.com on Monday.
Well, Wednesday morning the DeMatha and NBA great appeared on CNN to talk about his newest gig in much greater detail. “You made millions playing in the NBA. You’re a Hall of Famer. Why this job?” Dantley was asked. “Well, basically I didn’t work last year so I got bored sitting around the house,” Dantley responded. “Usually I’m a routine guy. So I was in the weight room one day, and some guys were in there talking. They said they liked to do some things for some kids, but just a little bit, maybe one hour a day. And then one guy said you know what, my wife is a crossing guard! And I said to myself, that’d be a good job for me. That way I can stay busy, spend some time with the kids, do something for the community, and that’s why I’m here.”
“He doesn’t need the money,” a Dantley associate tells me. The guard-forward was legendarily cheap during his long and fruitful NBA career, and he still lives nearby in a home he purchased in 1990 for $1.1 million, one that a former agent said “was virtually free and clear” of debt back in 1996. “He’s not going to just sit around,” the associate continues, “and he just doesn’t want to pay health insurance.” Turns out that NBA veterans aren’t provided health insurance by the league, not even all-timers like Dantley. Crossing guards in Montgomery County, however, are.
Day after day, Adrian Dantley hangs out on a street corner in his hometown, like some cliché of a pitiful ex-ballplayer years after his athletic prime. But Dantley’s neither a cliché, nor is he pitiful. He’s a crossing guard. The greatest 6-foot-5 post player in the history of the NBA now pulls morning and afternoon shifts at a busy intersection outside Eastern Middle School in Silver Spring, Md. The job, which he took at the beginning of this school year, earns him $14,685.50 a year, according to Montgomery County civil service records.
George Karl is the latest in that long line of disillusion-ists. Three days ago, reveals a source, the Nuggets head coach, whose opulent contract was extended several months ago, fired top assistant Adrian Dantley. OK, fired might not be the correct word. Karl’s aide for eight seasons was not signed past this month. One way or the other, his immediate superior, theoretical friend and throat cancer survivor, who you’d think might have accrued approximate compassion for other peoples’ plights during his harrowing ordeal, did not notify Dantley he was done until the majority of jobs throughout the NBA were filled or promised. And, oh, yeah, with a league lockout looming a week away.
In late May, Karl told Dantley he was thinking about making a change. “You didn’t look happy this season,” he told him, raising the back-of-the-bus, er, in-back-of-the-bench situation. “I’m fine. It didn’t bother me to sit there,” Dantley said. “I like being here. I want to stay.” Karl pledged to give him the word within the next couple of days. Despite being around each other on at least two occasions after that, Karl kept Dantley in the dark for more than three weeks. In a subsequent meeting with his retained assistants, Karl told them, “A.D.’s firing was your fault.”
Karl alerted Dantley to the request and mentioned a possible rotation, yet never demanded it or set it in motion. Not looking to create any waves, A.D. shifted one row back without being ordered to. While the move drew little, if any, attention in Denver, the league’s coaches took notice of Dantley’s apparent demotion and wondered why Karl would do him like that. After all, this was the man who was put in charge of the Nuggets for the final 13 games (seven wins) of the 2009-2010 season and their first-round playoff series (2-4) against the depleted Jazz. The guy who took a beating for him when Karl’s cancer treatments made it impossible to eat, much less go to work.
Had friction occurred in Dantley’s case? Not as far as the Hall of Fame forward is concerned. Karl obviously felt differently about a quandary that surfaced during the season. Without Dantley’s knowledge, either one or two lower-level assistants went to Karl and (hoping to get more exposure, I presume) asked to sit on the bench instead of behind it; league law allows three up front.