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Ball Don't Lie

Someone stole Shawn Bradley’s impossible-to-ride custom bike

Eric Freeman
Ball Don't Lie

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Former NBA poster subject Shawn Bradley's absurd height gave him a chance to earn millions of dollars in a relatively short period of time, but it's also made his life tougher in many ways. It's tough to find clothes for a 7-foot-6 frame, for one thing, and he pretty much has to drive giant vehicles no matter his aesthetic preferences. That includes bicycles, too.

What that means, functionally, is that Bradley's $10,000 custom bike cannot be ridden by all but a few people in the entire world. So it comes as something of a shock to learn that it was stolen last Friday in a Salt Lake City suburb. From Pat Reavy for KSL.com (video story available at link):

Last Friday, someone burglarized the barn on Bradley's property. The only item that was taken was a bicycle made specially for him in 2006.

"Whether you're 7 feet 6 inches or normal height, stealing someone's bike is low," an upset Bradley said Wednesday.

"It just made me really upset," he said. "I'm still dumbfounded. It's so frustrating people just do that. That's ridiculous." [...]

After Bradley retired from the NBA in 2006, the 7-foot-6 center said he needed to find a way to keep the weight off. Trek made a bicycle just for him.

"My brother is 6 feet 10 inches and he can't ride it," Bradley said. [...]

Despite his dismay, Bradley was still able to joke Wednesday about who the possible suspects might be. He said the only other person in Utah who could have rode off on his bike was former Utah Jazz center Mark Eaton, whom he called to tell about the burglary.

Bradley also joked that maybe another former Jazzman, Greg Ostertag, might have stolen the bike as a prank. But he said even Ostertag wouldn't have been able to reach the pedals.

It's of course very sad that Bradley had his special bike stolen, but at the same time it's pretty hilarious that a crime exists in which Mark Eaton and Greg Ostertag are the primary suspects. Don't forget Rich Kelley, though, Shawn. He played for the Jazz, too.

Salt Lake City residents should be on the lookout for the thief, who will presumably be riding a very large bicycle very poorly. A police sketch artist produced this image to help you identify the correct person.

UPDATE: According to the Associated Press, Bradley's gigantic bicycle has been recovered after a random search of a residence. Bradley is said to be "thrilled at the news."

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