Chalmers is signed in the Russian Superleague, or what’s left of it. Russian basketball, like all Eastern European teams, has had a bit of a financial crisis this year, and the Superleague has only 9 teams left in it. Nevertheless, they’re nine pretty good teams, so it’s not a bad gig. Playing for Enisey Krasnoyarsk, Chalmers is averaging 17.0 points, 4.1 rebounds, 3.3 assists and 1.8 steals in 33 minutes per game. The scoring is sixth in the league, the assists eighth and the steals seventh, but Chalmers’ numbers are also down across the board; last year, he led the Superleague in scoring with a 21.0 ppg average, and ranked second in assists with 5.6 apg. That scoring title was a particularly impressive feat considering that he did it while shooting 57% from the free throw line as a 6’0 point guard.
Chase was Jannero Pargo’s replacement at Dynamo Moscow for the end of last season, after Pargo moved to Olympiacos. He averaged 18 ppg in the EuroCup and 11 ppg in the Russian league, but Dynamo got rid of all their imports this year to save money. [See Sergei Bykov’s entry, part 11.] Chase is instead spending this season in Spain, where he’s signed with Valladolid of the ACB. He is averaging 13.0 points and 1.7 assists, shooting 39% from both the field and the three-point line.
Despite being a 5’8 score-first backup point guard who averaged only 7 ppg in his final college season, Brian Chase has played in the NBA. Andre Young, pay attention.
I wasn’t into college basketball at the time, so I don’t know why it’s the case, but everyone seemed to hate Eric Chenowith because of his college days. This is the impression that I got throughout his professional career, at least. He kind of had that Laettner thing going on. If any of what I’m saying sounds plausible, please tell me why it was the case, because I don’t know.
Chenowith’s professional career involved a few years in the D-League, stints in France, Puerto Rico and the Philippines, as well as a year in the CBA in which he led the league in rebounds. Yet despite being drafted 43rd overall by the Knicks in the 2001 draft (who in an unusual move renounced him several months later before he ever signed with the team ), and despite signing NBA contracts with the Kings, Sonics, Clippers, Lakers, Nuggets, Bulls and Hornets at various points, Chenowith never played in the NBA.
Chenowith retired early into the 2008/09 season, aged only 29, and is now trying to establish a coaching career. He is currently coaching at his old high school team, subsidizing that income by working as a foreman for a construction firm.
As well you know, Childress is signed with Olympiacos in Greece. He wasn’t very good there last year, really, unable to do much in the European half-court game and not getting many fast break opportunities. But this year he’s doing quite a lot better. Childress is averaging 16.0 points, 4.9 rebounds, 1.6 assists, 1.4 steals and 0.7 blocks per game in the Greek league, alongside 15.1 points, 3.3 rebounds, 2.0 assists, 0.8 steals and 0.6 blocks per game in the EuroLeague. He’s even hit a few threes, going a combined 15-43 (35%) between the two competitions.
Childress is still a restricted free agent of the Atlanta Hawks, who retain full Bird rights on him. Given that the Bulls’ PR Machine has already set the wheels in motion for what now looks like an inevitable drastic overpayment for Joe Johnson this summer, the Hawks are probably going to need them.
Christmas went undrafted this summer and later signed with the Sixers for training camp. Yet despite the Sixers’ obvious need for a shooter, they decided they’d rather save the money and run with a 13-man roster than they would pay the rookie minimum to Dionte Christmas. That must have stung. What will have stung more was Christmas getting arrested the very next day while driving Marreese Speights’ car, which contained an unloaded gun, also registered to Speights. Not a good day’s fishing.
After a few weeks on the shelf – in which time he was rumoured to be moving to Germany, although he then didn’t – Christmas signed with Hapoel Holon in Israel at the start of this month. He’s played in one game for the team, totalling 12 points and 5 assists, shooting 3-10 from the field and 1-7 from outside.
Last year at this time, I wrote this about Adam Chubb:
Adam Chubb will literally never leave Germany.
Unlike all of my offseason predictions about Marcin Gortat, I might have actually been right about something here. Chubb is still in Germany, now into his fifth consecutive season there, and he also just signed an extension that keeps him there until 2012. For ALBA Berlin, Chubb is averaging 10.4 points and 3.7 rebounds per game in the German league, 10.2 points and 3.2 rebounds per game in the EuroLeague, and previously averaged 12.0 points and 5.3 rebounds in the EuroLeague. Adam Chubb as a double-digit scorer in the second-highest calibre of club basketball competition in the universe? It happened.
Remember Ousmane Cisse? The shot-blocking starlet who averaged 12 blocks per game in high school, was drafted 47th overall in 2001 by the Denver Nuggets, but who never played in the NBA and who, in his own words, “should have went to college?” Well, he’s still going. Cisse is signed in Cyprus with APOEL Nicosia, where he’s one half of a two-headed centre monster alongside former Jazz player Alex Radojevic. Good times.
Unfortunately, as is always the case with Cypriot basketball, there are no domestic league statistics available. Someone out there should really rectify that, because there’s a good number of interesting players that play over there and we need to know about how they’re doing. But on the plus side, APOEL were in the EuroCup to begin this year, and after failing to beat Bancas Teramo in the preliminary round, they went in the EuroChallenge instead. So we at least have the statistics for those games. In the EuroCup, Cisse totalled 12 points, 16 rebounds, 6 fouls, 3 blocks and 2 steals in 49 minutes of two games, and in six EuroChallenge games he’s averaging 2.7 points, 3.0 rebounds, 1.7 fouls and 1.2 blocks per game.
For the record, in the same six EuroChallenge games, Radojevic is averaging 6.3 points and 6.0 rebounds in 19 minutes per game.
Clancy was second in the Russian Superleague in rebounds per game last season, and has followed that up this year by being fifth in the Israeli league in rebounding. For Bnei Hasharon, Clancy is averaging 10.0 points, 8.1 rebounds and 1.9 assists per game, playing only 24 minutes a night. Hasharon also have the third-best rebounder in the league, Shawn James, who averages a further 8.7 more in 28 minutes a night. Between the two, they’re not missing many.
Another guy on the Bnei Hasharon team is Ron Steele, the former Alabama guard who was off to a flying start in his college career until his knee stopped working. Steele is having a pretty good career resurgence, averaging 11.9 points and 2.3 assists in 23 minutes per game, shooting 54% from the field and 52% from three-point range. After the injury to his knee essentially cost him the last three seasons, it’s good to see his bouncebackability in full effect. By the way, whoever invented that word should be shot, as should everyone who uses it.
Here’s what Keon Clark’s been up to recently. Or rather; here’s Keon Clark’s criminal record.
So, um, you might want to start scrolling down.
25th November 1991: Arrested for shoplifting. Was all of 16 at the time. Sentenced to a year’s supervision, completed without incident.
28th March 1994: Arrested for a “misrepresentation of age” violation. Pleaded guilty, fined $100 three years later. Not sure what the wait was for.
28th March 1994: Arraigned for driving without insurance. Charge dropped two days later.
31st March 1997: Cited for speeding. Fined $75.
8th September 1998: Cited for not wearing a seatbelt. Fined $55.
1998: Suspended by UNLV after testing positive for marijuana.
20th May 1999: Cited for possession of cannabis. A year later, sentenced to six months supervision and fined $250 plus costs. In the same incident, was arrested for driving with a suspended license, but that charge was dropped almost two years later.
6th July 2000: Cited for driving the wrong way up a one way street. Fined $75.
11th June 2001: Arrested for driving with a suspended license. Charge later amended to driving on an expired driving license; fined $139.
11th June 2001: Arrested for domestic battery. Pleaded not guilty, but later changed to guilty in a plea agreement. Fined $200 plus costs, and placed on one year’s conditional discharge.
29th June 2001: Cited again for driving without insurance. Later dropped.
31st July 2001: Cited for speeding. Fined $95.
29th July 2002: Arrested for reckless driving. Had to forfeit his driving license, but the case was dropped a few months later.
30th July 2002: From presumably the same incident, cited for whatever “failure to reduce speed” is. Sentenced to a year’s court supervision in January, and fined $660. The fines are getting bigger. Also cited for driving without insurance, again, yet it was dropped, again.
September 2003: Appeared in court charged with a different case of misdemeanour domestic violence. Pleaded not guilty. Unsure of the outcome.
22nd December 2003: Cited for speeding. Fined $95. At least he made it past the year’s supervision.
15th March 2004: Again cited for failure to reduce speed. Pleaded guilty, fined $235.
10th May 2004: Cited for speeding. Fined $75. You’re getting the idea by now.
21st June 2004: Fined another $75 for another speeding offence. Cited again six weeks later for failure to pay it, then paid it in full.
16th February 2005; Again cited for driving without insurance. This time, Clark misses a court date, and an arrest warrant is issued in May.
4th April 2005: Cited for driving on a suspended license. By pleading guilty to the above charge of DWI, this one was dropped. Fined $500 and sentenced to a year’s court supervision.
7th September 2005: Pulled over for erratic driving, and found to be in possession of cannabis, cocaine and a firearm without proper identification. Charged with two counts on the coke possession, two counts on the gun possession, one for the marijuana possession, one for driving on a suspended license, and two counts of DUI. Released after posting $2,500 bond. In accordance with local drug forfeiture laws, his car was confiscated, and later sold on eBay.
28th December 2005: Clark changes lawyers.
3rd May 2006: Arrested for a myriad of things, including DUI (again), property damage, improper lane usage, driving with no insurance, driving without wearing a seatbelt and driving without a license. Pleaded not guilty to everything. DUI charge later amended to “Driving Under The Combined Influence Of Alcohol & Drugs.” A charge of “driving using cocaine” was added.
21st September 2006: Scratches found in Clark’s formerly confiscated Mercedes (see 7th September 2005 incident).
7th March 2007: Arraigned in Vermilion County court on a felony charge of criminal damage, as well as aggravated driving on a suspended license. Supposedly, after seeing his former car (now owned by a city worker) parked on the other side of town, Clark decided to damage the paintwork.
April 2007: Released from jail on battery and domestic violence charges after posting bond.
17th May 2007: Arrested for two outstanding warrants in Champaign County, both for failure to appear in court, one on a misdemeanour charge of criminal trespassing and the other on a felony charge of driving with a suspended license. Simultaneously arrested for driving under the influence after being found to be three times over the legal limit, and with a bottle of gin in his pocket.
May, 2007: In a plea agreement, pleaded guilty to the firearm and coke possession charges from the 7th September 2005 incident in exchange for the DUI and suspended license charges being dropped.
20th September 2007: Sentenced in Champaign County court to 30 months for the other driving with a suspended license charge. Sentenced in absentia; arrest warrant issued.
10th October 2007: Sentenced in Vermilion County court to 30 months in prison on the firearms charge, 24 months on the coke possession charge, and one year for the driving under the influence charge, all to be served concurrently. The possession of marijuana charge was dismissed. Sentenced in absentia, as neither Clark nor an attorney showed up. Another arrest warrant issued.
18th October 2007: Arrested on a bus in Houston on the aforementioned outstanding warrants. Clark had been in Houston attending alcohol rehab, which is why he did not attend his previous court hearings.
15th December 2007: Appeared in court to appeal the Vermilion County court charges above. Admitted in the hearing to being an alcoholic for almost a decade.
21st December 2007: Won his appeal for a new hearing on the firearm, cocaine possession and DUI charges. New hearing scheduled for March.
29th December 2007: Began serving his 30 month sentence for driving with a suspended license.
29th February 2008: Pleaded guilty to the DUI charge from the 3rd May 2006 incident. The rest of the charges were dismissed. Sentenced to two months probation and 180 days in jail, to be served concurrently with the rest of his jail time. Also fined $2,900.
18th June 2008: Charges from 10th October 2007 hearing in Vermilion County court overturned, due to Clark not having an attorney present at the hearing, a right that he had not waived. Clark’s guilty plea was vacated, and a new hearing scheduled.
Early July 2008: Released from prison on the suspended license charge after serving six and a half months.
28th July 2008: Arrested for violating the probation that he received in the domestic violence case. Sentenced to 180 days for the violation. Don’t know what he did to violate it.
1st August 2008: Missed the new court hearing for the 7th September 2005 charges because he was in prison at the time on the probation violation. Another new hearing sentenced.
12th December 2008: Resentenced in Vermilion County court on the 7th September 2005 charges that had been sentenced on 10th October 2007 and overturned on 18th June 2008. This time, in a plea agreement, Clark was sentenced to 30 months probation, a drug treatment program, 100 hours of community service and 12 months of weekend imprisonment (with 260 days credited time served) on the cocaine possession charge. The firearms, DUI and driving on a suspended license charges were dismissed, due to Clark’s time spent in rehab, which the judge interpreted as a good start for getting through all of this, if also the cause of those arrest warrants.
(All of that took a couple of days to decipher using online and freely available court records. I am not formally educated in the art of reading these documents – and it IS an art, because those things are bloody confusing – so therefore I may have screwed up somewhere. However, a hell of a lot of care has been taken to try and get it right, so if it’s not all right then it’s at least all close. In fact, there’s even more stuff that could go on here that I haven’t listed, such as a conviction and sentencing for resisting arrest in early 2007 from an August 2006 incident.)
(In somewhat related news, Clark’s father is currently serving a 65-year sentence after killing a man in a fight over a bicycle. A bicycle.)
Clark, who describes himself as “non-conformist”, disappeared from basketball in the summer of 2004. He had offers of work coming in, but he just didn’t want to take them. For whatever reason, he’d had enough. This seemed weird at the time, but the reason for it may have been revealed three years later in a courtroom, when Clark admitted that he was an alcoholic.
The good news is that, as far as I can tell, Clark has had no problems since we last checked in on him. Clark attends weekly drug court hearings to check on his progress, with the next one scheduled to occur about two hours after this story was written, and his attendance and progress in those hearings are almost universally described as “good.” He has done this since the December 2008 date of his latest conviction, and, even though it got as far as it has and necessitated the enforcement of the courts, Clark is getting help for his addiction and serving the punishment for his misdeeds. That’s good. He used a lot of rope over the span of two decades – a LOT of rope – but he appears to be finally demonstrating some bouncebackability. If he’s clean, sober, and learns how to drive safely, there is hope.
But the self-explanatory bad news is that, whenever the subject of Keon Clark is brought up, we automatically think of his substance and legal problems. Not the player that he used to be.
If that looks like a character assassination, it is not meant to be. It is thorough – obsessively thorough, even – but it is not meant to defame Clark’s name. Clark’s name is already pretty defamed through no doing of my own, and I find that a shame. I knew him as a basketball player first, way before I ever knew of him as a criminal and an addict. And I’ve always preferred to think of him as a basketball player.
So, in the interests of entertainment, here is Keon Clark defaming Shawn Bradley. For old’s times sake.
Tennessee Tech graduate and former Knicks training camp invitee Milone Clark is currently a Harlem Globetrotter, known as “The Spark.” Here’s his new hair:
One thing they taught me on my creative writing course is that you can never end on a crescendo. There always has to be a slight lull after the climax in order to restore and wrap up proceedings. So it’s that, plus the time-honoured principle of alphabetical order, which has seen Milone Clark’s story end this piece.
Still, this doesn’t feel like much of an ending after all the Keon stuff, does it?
I am continuously intrigued by the esoterica and minutiae of all the aspects of building a basketball team. I want to understand how to build the best basketball teams possible. No, I don’t know why, either.