Tag: off the court issues

Miami Heat v Atlanta Hawks

Dr. J sued for defrauding elderly woman


“Dr. J” Julius Erving has had his share of off-court affairs go public, notably an affair with a sportswriter that resulted in a daughter. But his latest scandal is considerably more disheartening to the image fans have of Erving as a statesman for the game.

The New York Post reports:

Legendary basketball player Julius Erving is being sued for allegedly cheating a wealthy Manhattan woman out of more than $420,000 in a deal with crooked money manager Kenneth Starr.

Mary Gilbert’s suit — which charges Erving with breach of contract and fiduciary duty — seeks payment of all her lost profits, along with “prejudgment interest” and punitive damages.

Gilbert, 71, says she met the Hall of Fame hoopster in 1990 through Starr, who hooked her while amassing a roster of clients that included such celebs as Uma Thurman, Martin Scorsese and Sylvester Stallone.

via Manhattan woman sues Dr. J, saying he cheated her out of $420K – NYPOST.com.

Erving’s partner in Commonwealth Investors is awaiting March sentencing for a $50 million Ponzi scheme, which doesn’t seem to make this sound like a crackpot lawsuit. Commonwealth Investors netted Erving over $2.9 million over 15 years. Defrauding someone is bad enough. Defrauding a 71-year-old woman is just downright despicable, should the suit result in a favorable ruling for the plaintiff.

And now, to distract you from how depressing this is, the greatest Dr. J commercial ever.


Dwyane Wade’s custody battle is pretty depressing


One of the things I tend to gravitate when we’re talking about off-the-court issues is how I would respond, were the situation to arise in my very non-famous life. It’s easy to put these players on  a pedestal, and just as easy to knock them into the dirt and kick them around. To be clear, their lives are not like our own. Bills, daycare, bosses, the hassle of daily life, all of these things are not a part of their life while they’re in the A. But they are still human. As my father says, “They put their pants on one leg at a time” just like the rest of us.

(I promise I’m not headed towards slipping in quotes from friends and family every thirty seconds like some guys in the sports business.)

So when I read about Dwyane Wade’s custody battle which Wade testified in Friday, I think about what it would be like going through that process, and having it all played out in the press. Wade on Friday answered questions about whether he beat his kids, whether he engaged in sexual acts with Gabrielle Union in front of them, whether he had drugs and weapons in the house while they lived with him. He denied abandoning them, neglecting them, and abusing them.

He testified that his ex-wife physically abused him during arguments, and that he didn’t abuse her, but he did sit her down “aggressively” and in the process of flailing her arms, she hit herself.

All of this in a court room with reporters watching.

Having that process dragged out in front of people has to be both painful and embarrassing for someone, irregardless of how many points they score or who their teammates are or how much money they make. Whether the allegations are true or not, it’s a painful, uncomfortable situation. For what it’s worth, a lawyer appointed for Wade’s two sons has recommended that Wade be granted custody and that his ex-wife seek professional counseling.

Wade was granted custody in June, but the boys have stayed with their mother while Wade gets through his summer wheelings and dealings. Wade told reporters after he testified that the process has been especially hard on his oldest son and that it “hurts to see him go through this.” That’s the worst part in all of this. Two boys, their home torn apart, dealing with courtrooms and photographers and allegations between their parents. You can sympathize with either Wade or his ex-wife, both have been burdened with hurt in this process that happens so often in our society. But everyone can empathize with two boys trying to make sense of a world that won’t be repaired no matter how much money their father makes.