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Ex-NBA All-Star Chris Gatling pleads guilty to theft, forgery charges in squatting case

Dan Devine
Ball Don't Lie

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Chris Gatling celebrates during the 1996 Mexico City Challenge. (Barry Gossage/NBA/Getty)

Former NBA All-Star Chris Gatling has pleaded guilty to one count of theft and one count of forgery last week in connection to accusations that he illegally occupied a Paradise Valley, Ariz., home for more than a year before trying to rent the place, which he didn't own, on Craigslist.

Gatling entered the guilty pleas in Maricopa County, Ariz., Superior Court last Thursday, and will face sentencing on Oct. 4. In case you forgot, here's the background, via the Arizona Republic:

Gatling is accused of breaking into a key box and living in the home from July 2010 to August 2011. A police report says the homeowners lived in California but had left the power on. [...] he later listed the four-bedroom house for rent for $800 and called it an “Ex-NBA” home online.

Court records say that Gatling got a down payment from one potential renter but that another got suspicious and contacted police.

Gatling had also been charged with forging personal checks from his former girlfriend and routing the money through College Bound All-Stars, "a traveling youth basketball league that Gatling managed and operated," according to Phoenix CBS affiliate KPHO-TV.

Back in April, Gatling's lawyer, Michael Alarid III, described the case as a "misunderstanding." Now, he "declined to comment on his client's guilty pleas," according to The Associated Press.

The 6-foot-10 forward/center went to the Golden State Warriors with the 16th pick in the 1991 NBA draft, beginning an 11-year NBA career that would include stints with the Dubs, Miami Heat (twice), Dallas Mavericks, New Jersey Nets, Milwaukee Bucks, Orlando Magic, Denver Nuggets and Cleveland Cavaliers. His professional high point came as a member of the 1996-97 Mavs, for whom scored a team-leading 19.1 points per game as a reserve and earned All-Star honors despite coming off the bench. After a second stint with the Heat during the 2001-02 season, Gatling spent time with Russian power CSKA Moscow and Scavolini Pesaro of Italy's Serie A before retiring in 2003.

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