On this episode of The HoopsHype Podcast, Alex Kennedy is joined by former NBA center Robert Swift. Robert discussed his time in the NBA, how he overcame addictions to heroin, cocaine and meth, his comeback playing for the Spanish club Círculo Gijón Baloncesto y Conocimiento and much more. Time-stamps are below.
1:50: In 2006, Robert was playing for the Seattle SuperSonics and he ruptured his right ACL. Then, he tore the lateral meniscus in that same knee in 2008 and the team waived him. That was the last time he played in the NBA. He talks about going through this tough time at 23 years old.
2:45: Robert became addicted to heroin, meth and cocaine. He discusses when his substance abuse started.
4:00: Robert talks about losing his desire to live and leave his house for any reason, which was a very low point for him.
4:50: He discusses how his substance-abuse issues escalated to hard drugs and how he was able to put that period of his life behind him.
6:10: Robert went through heroin withdrawals while spending three weeks in jail due to a weapons charge. He discusses what that was like and how he managed to get through those tough few weeks.
8:50: Robert shares advice for anyone who is dealing with addiction.
9:40: It’s amazing that Robert is once again playing professional basketball again after being addicted to heroin and taking drugs everyday. He discusses how difficult it was to get back in shape and get to where he’s at now, being a difference-maker for his pro team in Spain.
11:00: Robert raves about his experience in Spain and, specifically, with Círculo Gijón Baloncesto y Conocimiento.
11:40: Círculo Gijón has welcomed Robert with open arms and he says he hopes to remain with this same club for several years. He wants to help them continue to improve and climb to a higher division.
12:30: Three days ago, Robert played his first game with his new Spanish club. He recorded a double-double and his team won by 20 points. He discusses what it was like to finally be back on a basketball court with a pro team again.
13:05: Robert shares what a typical day is like for him in Spain.
15:25: Robert shares his experience going straight from high school to the NBA and his thoughts on the current one-and-done rule. Should they remove it or should they make student-athletes stay in school even longer?
17:35: Bob Myers, the Golden State Warriors’ general manager, was previously Robert’s agent. He has a lot of connections around the NBA. While he’s currently focused on his team in Spain, I ask if returning to the NBA is in the back of his mind at all?
18:50: Robert talks about playing in The Basketball Tournament last year. In this tournament, anyone can assemble a team and the last squad standing wins $2 million. He wants to compete in TBT again this year.
21:25: Robert says he’s interested in playing in the BIG3 since it’s during his Spanish team’s offseason. He’s going to try to go their draft combine and enter his name in the player pool.
22:10: Círculo Gijón is currently in first place and Robert’s salary nearly triples if they win the title. He gives a scouting report of his team.
23:20: Robert says he still watches NBA highlights and names the one player in particular whom he loves to watch.
24:30: Seattle fans desperately want to get an NBA franchise back in their city. Robert shares his great experiences in Seattle and raves about the fan base, but admits that putting a team back there might he complicated.