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A Night Without End

A while back I saw a tweet about a basketball player in Europe who was facing manslaughter charges. I'm not sure why this popped into my head two years later but one night I decided to see if I could track him down. Turns out Jamaican national Kimani Ffriend had been languishing in a Serbian prison for months, awaiting his trial. So I headed to Belgrade to find out more.

And of course, there is much more to the story than simply a basketball player commiting a possible crime. His victim was engaged to a well-known pop star. Also, the facts in the case aren't clear, and then there's Serbia. If there ever was a place where a crime is never just a crime, it's Serbia. 

A Night Without End. 


Javaris Crittenton

So I wrote this article about Javaris Crittenton. Basically an editor ask Fox Sports if I wanted to write a piece on him. I had heard some of the stuff that was going on with him; former NBA teammate of Kobe Bryant, college star, and high school all-world player; now a the trail for murder and running drugs. But I didn't know much of the backstory. Turns out he got involved with a gang. It just so happens that the one gang out of all the gangs in the world in which I know people loosely associated with is the Mansfield Crip, because they're based out of the same high school I went to in LA. Which of course is the gang that Crittenton got involved in. 

Anyway, after some negotiations I interviewed a member of the gang, and also a lot of people who knew Javaris when he grew up, especially his mentor PJ, who I became quite close to in the process. As much as the article was about Crittenton, it's also about PJ, and others around him. Anyway, read it, I'm quite proud of it. 

Run and Gun:



Birdman!!! Birdman!!!

So, I wrote about the crazy, convulted, insane, wild Catfishing type case involving Chris "Birdman" Andersen and others (Brody Jenner!!) for Newsweek. It's a sad story really, the poor guy had his reputation decimated, and luckily he's started to recover, but I can't even imagine what he had to go through. But in writing it I definitely became a Birdman fan, he's seems like a genuinely good guy. Anyway... here it is:



20 Minutes at Rucker Park

I always forget I have this blog! So I thought, 6 months later, it might be a good time to post my story about TJ, the Sacramento kid with dreams of becoming the next AO and Hot Sauce (or maybe even Kevin Durant!) 

Anyway, I rode the bus with him cross country, it was kind of an important part of both of our lives and a very transformational trip, although he had much more at stake than me. I'm rambling, here it is: 20 Minutes at Rucker Park 


The God of Macedonia

I played against Bo McCalebb in 2010 when I was with the British team. I saw him play for the first time a few months before that in Paris for the Euroleague final four and I was blown away at how quick his first step was. For those of you NBA (or USC) aficionados you remember Robert Pack, Bo reminded me of him. Compact and explosive.

So when I played against him, he was that and more, he could finish, he was smart, very quiet and unassuming on the court, but seemed to always make the right play at the right time. In short he was a winner. (He also, and we'll just mention this briefly in passing, fouled me out in about 12 minutes on the court.)

Anyway, I became a fan from that point on and anyone who has seen him play will also say the same thing. He plays an exciting style but plays like a point guard should. Unfortunately he'll probably go down as one of those "greatest players to never play in the NBA" so if you haven't seen him play I suggest you do. 

So I wrote an article about him for Sports on Earth, but of course, as always happens with these things, the backdrop of Macedonia was as interesting or even more so than his story. I learned a lot and hope you do to:

The God of Macedonia.