Former NBA star Latrell Sprewell is the subject of a documentary called “The Rejected” due to his life-long struggles with mental illness and substance abuse. His career was derailed by an on court altercation that ended in him being sentenced to one year at a Massachusetts prison for felony assault, which he has since been released from. Despite this dark moment, there’s a light at the end of the tunnel as Sprewell now works as an motivational speaker and philanthropist.
NBA All Star point guard, Latrell Sprewell was a star at the height of his career. His re-emergence is now more renowned for how he ended it than anything else. After being arrested in 2004 for choking then Golden State Warriors coach P.J Carlesimo, Sprewell’s NBA career went downhill fast after that incident. He never played another game professionally and created an even bigger buzz when he refused to sign with the Minnesota Timberwolves in 2006 over contract disputes – after having just received one of the most lucrative contracts in basketball history from them two years earlier.,
Latrell Sprewell was a basketball player for the Golden State Warriors. He had a great career, but his life took a turn when he got into a fight with then-head coach P.J. Carlesimo in 1997 and refused to play any more games that season. The next year, Sprewell signed a $21 million contract with the Minnesota Timberwolves, which he never played in because of an injury sustained in practice before the season began.
Latrell Sprewell’s career has a lot of potential. There were even rumors that Sprewell was the “next Jordan” at one time.
Yes, that seems ridiculous today, but it was true in the early to mid-1990s. Sprewell was already averaging 21.0 points, 4.9 rebounds, 4.7 assists, and 2.2 steals per game in his second season.
For Sprewell, it wasn’t just about the statistics. Fans were enthralled by his slicing approach towards the basket.
On the surface, Sprewell’s situation looked to be ideal, but on the inside, things were far from ideal.
Sprewell struggled with rage issues and had a hard time regulating his outbursts.
Sprewell first got into a brawl with teammate Bryon Houston during practice in 1993.
It’s not unusual to get into a fight with a teammate during practice these days. This occurs often since everyone is eager to compete and establish their value.
What Sprewell did next in 1995, though, was unusual for a colleague.
Sprewell got into a brawl with teammate Jerome Kersey as the squad was divided up and playing a practice game.
Sprewell fled and returned with a massive piece of timber since the struggle was not going in his favor.
Sprewell then proceeded to hit Kersey with the block of timber, despite comrades’ best efforts to break it up.
Sprewell’s situation would deteriorate. Sprewell threatened to bring a pistol to practice after being separated from Kersey.
Sprewell’s fury would reach an all-time high during practice on December 1, 1997.
Warriors coach P.J. Carlesimo saw Sprewell wasn’t putting up any effort as the team was performing passing drills.
Carlesimo told Sprewell, “Put a little mustard on those passes.”
“I don’t want to hear that today,” Sprewell answered to Carlesimo.
Carlesimo then made his way over to Sprewell. Carlesimo was urged by the other Warriors players to leave Sprewell alone, but he refused.
“Don’t come up on me, don’t come up on me,” Sprewell warned his coach one more time.
Carlesimo disobeyed orders once again, and he suffered the consequence. Sprewell grabbed Carlesimo’s neck and threatened to strangle him.
Carlesimo was dragged on the ground for around 10 seconds before Sprewell’s colleagues were able to free him.
Sprewell would quit the firm but later return. It was about 20 minutes later. He assaulted Carlesimo by striking him in the face as soon as he returned.
Sprewell was once again rescued by his comrades, and this time he was gone for good.
Sprewell later denied striking him on his return when questioned about the event, but the harm had already been done.
The Warriors were the first to penalize Sprewell once the scandal leaked, and their penalty was shockingly light. Sprewell was given a ten-game suspension.
Sprewell’s four-year, $32 million deal with the Warriors was cancelled two days later, with almost three years and roughly $25 million still on the clock.
Following that, NBA Commissioner David Stern imposed a one-year suspension on him. Sprewell would appeal his ban, which would be reduced to 68 games.
Sprewell’s sponsorship relationship with Converse was also jeopardized as a result of the choking incident.
Sprewell got himself into legal difficulties while waiting for his punishment to be lowered.
Sprewell was charged with reckless driving after speeding (90 mph) and colliding with another vehicle, injuring two passengers. As part of a no-contest plea, he was placed under house arrest for three months.
Sprewell’s activities have tarnished the league’s reputation. Everyone, even Michael Jordan, was talking about it.
“No matter what he says, I can’t comprehend the thought of choking a coach,” Jordan added. “You’ve got to get out of here.” I had a discussion with a higher-up, higher-ranking individual in that company to express my concerns about this coach, but the issue is that he (Sprewell) acted, and he now has to pay a cost.”
Sprewell’s career seemed to be gone until he was dealt to the New York Knicks by the Warriors in 1999. Sprewell saw this as a new beginning, and he wanted to make the most of it.
Because of the lockout, the NBA season in 1999 was reduced to 50 games. Sprewell appeared in 37 games with the Knicks and was a valuable member of the bench.
Sprewell averaged 16.4 points, 4.2 rebounds, and 2.5 assists per game in 1998-99.
The Knicks finished seventh in the Eastern Conference with a 27-23 record.
Sprewell and the Knicks upped their game in the playoffs. First, the eighth-seeded Knicks defeated the first-seeded Miami Heat 3-2.
The Knicks swept the Atlanta Hawks in the semifinals before winning the conference finals 4-2 against their other foe, the Indiana Pacers.
The Knicks’ luck finally ran out in the NBA Finals, as they were crushed 4-1 by the San Antonio Spurs.
Sprewell performed well even in loss. With 26.0 points per game in the Finals, he led the Knicks in scoring. With 407 points, he also lead the playoffs in total points scored.
Sprewell stayed in New York for four more years before being sent to the Minnesota Timberwolves.
Sprewell’s stay in New York was not without incident.
Sprewell had a fractured hand when he arrived to training camp for the 2002-03 season. He said he slipped on his boat and sustained the injuries.
For neglecting to disclose the incident to the Knicks, he was fined $250,000.
Sprewell then sued the New York Post, the publication that originally reported the story.
Sprewell allegedly fractured his hand in a brawl, according to the New York Post. Sprewell’s case against the New York Post was dismissed.
Sprewell joined Kevin Garnett and Sam Cassell as the league’s highest-scoring trio in his debut season with the Timberwolves.
The Timberwolves concluded the season with a 58–24 record, good enough for first place in the Western Conference.
Sprewell was a key part of the Timberwolves’ first and only Western Conference Finals appearance, but they lost 4-2 to the Los Angeles Lakers.
Sprewell’s career was doomed as a result of what transpired afterwards. Sprewell was offered a three-year, $21 million contract extension by the Timberwolves on October 31, 2004.
This offer was less than what he was being paid under his present contract. The offer offended Sprewell, who replied by saying:
“I need to feed my family.”
A $21 million contract extension for the next three years would have been a decent bargain for most players. Sprewell, on the other hand, believed his worth was being devalued.
When asked whether he wanted to assist the Timberwolves win a championship, Sprewell said, “I want to help the Timberwolves win a championship.”
“Why would I want to assist them in winning a championship?” They aren’t assisting me in any way. I’m in danger. I’m taking a lot of chances here.”
He turned down the extension, and the Timberwolves decided not to re-sign him.
Sprewell suffered his poorest season of his career in the last year of his contract. He scored 12.8 points per game, which was a career low.
No club would give him more than the league minimum after the season. Sprewell was adamant about not doing this. He waited because he wanted a hefty salary…
Latrell Sprewell would never return to the NBA. After his NBA career ended, he was involved in a few legal issues.
Sprewell is accused of killing a lady on his boat with whom he was having consensual sex.
Sprewell received a restraining order against his accuser when the police decided not to prosecute charges.
Sprewell would also face legal action for failing to pay his taxes and for breaking a long-term partnership arrangement with his long-term partner.
Due to tax issues, Sprewell’s boat was auctioned off for $856,000 in 2008. His Milwaukee-area house was foreclosed on the same year.
Sprewell’s property was foreclosed on again in July 2009.
During his NBA career, Sprewell earned more than $100 million. His net worth is merely $1 million as of current year.
From a budding star to the NBA’s greatest villain, from a guy seeking atonement to a selfish player seeking more, he’s seen it all.
If anybody remembers Sprewell at all, it will be in this light. Sprewell’s skill was among the greatest we’ve ever seen, which is a shame.
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Latrell Sprewell is a former NBA player who was one of the league’s best players in the early 2000s. He has been in and out of the league since then, but he still has a lot to say about his career. His story is one that many people should be able to relate to because it shows how much can go wrong when you’re trying to make it in the world and how important it is for people to stay focused on their goals. Reference: latrell sprewell contract.
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