Jason Kidd getting arrested for drunk driving in Southampton on the morning of July 15, wiped away all the good vibes from Chris Herren's anti-drug and alcohol speech that he delivered to a group of Long Island students in April.
Chris Herren Visits Long Island High School
Herren, a former NBA star who struggled with drug addiction for over a decade, stopped by Island Trees High School during this past school year to preach to young student-athletes about staying on a clean path.
"To tell kids that these are the things that are going to pop up in life and that basketball is not the be-all-end-all in life," Herren said in a Bleacher Report interview. "There are much more important things in life like health and your mental/ emotional well being is important, because without that you have no basketball."
Herren went through a lot in his life and fell on some very hard times, but he redeemed himself by serving as a role model and mentor to young students. His basketball clinics and speaking tours help keep high school-age student-athletes out of trouble, and he really connects with teenagers because they see a little piece of themselves in him.
Being that he was a former Boston Celtics star who slowly let his life slip away, his story really strikes a chord with the students.
"Some of the questions [the Island Trees students] asked at the end, and some of the statements they made, you could tell they felt they were in a comfort zone with Chris and with their peers," said Island Trees principal Nick Grande in a Levittown Patch report.
Herren said "The decisions I made in high school prepped me for the decisions I made down the line."
Herren did a lot of good during his visit to Long Island in April, and Jeremy Lin was another great role model for young aspiring basketball players. Lin never got himself in trouble during his one-year stint in New York, and young athletes saw him as an inspirational figure that used a little hard work and determination to find success in the league.
It took Jason Kidd just four days after his Knicks introductory press conference to wipe away all those good feelings and positive thoughts, as he allegedly crashed his 2010 Cadillac Escalade into a wooden telephone pole near his Long Island, N.Y. home.
Kidd's ill-advised action was no way to start a career in New York, and he's lucky he didn't seriously injure himself or others. The worst part about the story was the example it sets to high school student-athletes, who look up to NBA players when searching for guidance in how to live their lives.
Kidd, who was arrested in 2001 for striking his wife during an argument, is now 39 years old, so it's time for him to start acting his age.
Eric Holden is a lifelong New York Knicks fan. Follow him on Twitter @ericholden.
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- Chris Herren
- Jason Kidd
- Island Trees High School