There's a pretty good chance that you had more fun on New Year's Eve than Latrell Sprewell did on New Year's Eve, because even if you wound up getting sick after having too much to drink or being shot down by that special someone with whom you wanted to share a 2013-starting kiss, at least you didn't get arrested at 4 in the afternoon. (We hope.)
The 13-year NBA veteran, who last suited up for the Minnesota Timberwolves in 2005, was arrested for disorderly conduct on Monday following "repeated complaints about loud music coming from a house on E. Pleasant St. on Milwaukee's east side," according to Raquel Rutledge of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel:
Police would not release details of the incident other than to report that police had received two complaints within one hour Monday afternoon and had received several complaints of loud music from the residence in recent months.
Sprewell, 42 and a graduate of Washington High School, was booked into the jail about 4:15 p.m. [...] Monday's incident has been referred to the Milwaukee County district attorney's office for investigation.
We'll hold off on scolding Spree for the time being — you know, that whole "presumption of innocence until proof of guilt" thing — but we'll just note that you'd likely have to be playing music pretty loud for it to result in a call to police at 4:15 p.m. Or, at the very least, have a very different conception of what "loud" entails than your neighbors do. Which reminds me: Now I kind of want Sprewell to move in next door to Andrew Bynum. Oh, what reported fun they'd allegedly have with one another's homes.
Our holding-off aside, it's unlikely that Sprewell will get the benefit of the doubt from a lot of fans and readers, because the longest-lasting memories that many have of the four-time All-Star are the kind of things that tend to shade public perception. During a Dec. 1, 1997, practice with the Golden State Warriors, an argument between Sprewell and coach P.J. Carlesimo turned violent when the swingman snapped, choked Carlesimo and reportedly threatened to kill him; later, after heading off to shower and supposedly cool off, Sprewell returned to take another swing at the coach. The Warriors suspended Sprewell, then voided the remaining three years and $23.7 million on his contract; NBA Commissioner David Stern suspended Sprewell for 82 games, a penalty subsequently reduced by an arbitrator to 68 games (the remainder of the '97-'98 season).
After Sprewell's reinstatement, the Warriors traded him to the New York Knicks in January 1999 exchange for John Starks, Chris Mills and Terry Cummings. He became an integral piece of Knicks playoff teams during the '98-'99 and '99-'00 seasons, earned a 2000-01 Eastern Conference All-Star berth and averaged nearly 18 points per game in five years in New York, but began to run afoul of the Knicks' organization and fans after reporting to training camp before the 2002-03 season with a broken right shooting hand about which he had not informed the team, and which was reportedly sustained during a fistfight on Sprewell's yacht, named "Milwaukee's Best" (a claim Sprewell denied and over which he sued the New York Post).
After the season, the Knicks traded Sprewell to the Timberwolves in exchange for Keith Van Horn, Glenn Robinson and Terrell Brandon, sparking the best season in the 24-year history of the Minnesota franchise, as he teamed with 2003-04 league MVP Kevin Garnett and sharpshooting point guard Sam Cassell to lead the Wolves to the Western Conference Finals. The honeymoon in Minnesota was short-lived, though; after the playoff run, the team offered Sprewell a three-year, $21 million contract extension, which he publicly turned down and called an insult: "I have a family to feed ... If Glen Taylor wants to see my family fed, he better cough up some money. Otherwise, you're going to see these kids in one of those Sally Struthers commercials soon."
This, as you might suspect, did not endear him to the Twin Cities faithful; a disappointing 2004-05 season that saw Cassell hampered by injuries, head coach Flip Saunders fired, Sprewell chip in just under 13 points per game and the team miss the playoffs didn't help matters much either. After the '04-'05 season, the Wolves declined to offer Sprewell a new deal, and so did everyone else. There were rumors and rumblings that he'd join one team or another over the next few years, but nothing ever materialized; an NBA career that was better than a lot of people probably remember ended with a whimper.
In the years since, he's come into contact with the law several times. He was questioned in connection with a sexual assault report in August 2006, though no charges resulted from the investigation. One year later, "Milwaukee's Best" was seized and auctioned off by the federal government in 2007 after Sprewell defaulted on his mortgage on the boat. In May 2008, his River Hills, Wisc., home went into foreclosure. In July 2011, Sprewell was named one of Wisconsin's most notorious delinquent taxpayers, owing the state some $3.5 million in unpaid income taxes. And now, this, which makes it seem like 2013's off to a similarly sad start for the 42-year-old.
Outside the Game from Yahoo! Sports:
Other popular content on the Yahoo! network:
• Amar'e Stoudemire struggles in season debut as Blazers beat Knicks
• Officiating blunder causes UConn to attack the wrong basket in OT
• ThePostGame: Sporting goods store mocks Tim Tebow