Former NBA center Shawn Bradley is 7’6” — he loves to ride a bicycle with his family but he needed one custom made to fit him. He got a special frame made that is 50 percent larger than the one on that bike you own.
So if you are six-foot tall Joshua Carter, how do you (allegedly) walk up to this bike and think “I need to steal that, I can totally ride it”?
That’s what happened at Bradley’s Utah home (near Salt Lake City). A thief stole that bike but left all the rest of his family’s bikes, a boat, tools and a $200 pair of sunglases. Instead, he took a custom made bike that is useless to anyone not tall enough to play center in the NBA. And even some of them might not fit on it.
“It’s a stolen bike, not the end of the world,” Bradley told the Associated Press from his home in Murray, about 10 miles south of Salt Lake City. “It’s just kind of a weird story. It’s not like I can go down to the bike shop and buy a new bike.”
Police found the bike, when a random search by state parole officers at Carter’s home turned up the rather unmistakeable ride. Carter was on parole and was arrested again on charges including possession of stolen property.
If you’re going to be a criminal, be a smart one.
Shaun Bradley is a unique player in NBA history.
At 7’6” he was one of the tallest players the league has ever seen, at 235 pounds (officially) he was one of the skinniest. He was the No. 2 overall pick (behind Chris Webber) but never developed into what scouts had hoped, though he was not as bad as some remember. As you might expect he racked up a lot of blocks (2,119) during his dozen years in the league, and he pitched in an average of 8.5 points and 6.1 rebounds per game. He was in the end an average to slightly above average center at his peak but an attraction everywhere he went.
He spent the last eight-and-a-half years of his career in Dallas, so the college hoops site Lost Lettermen caught up with him to talk about his feelings about seeing his old team in the finals.
But what was caught our eye was what Bradley is doing now, living in Salt Lake City (he went to BYU).
For starters, he’s a part-time cowboy as the owner of a ranch with 350 cattle on it. Of course, it’s not easy finding a horse that can carry one of the tallest players in NBA history.
“Bless the horse’s heart, the biggest challenge is finding a saddle that’ll fit and I had a guy help me make a saddle,” Bradley said. “So we’ve got a saddle and a 16-hand horse is the smallest I can even consider.”
If asked, cowboy may have been the last thing I would have guessed. Right after circus clown and entomologist. But there you go.
Read the piece, Bradley is donating time to charity and has political aspirations. They probably both take up more time than being a cowboy in his life.
But if you can stop trying to picture Bradley on a horse, you are a better man than I — I’m still stuck on that image.
UPDATE 11:26 pm: It was close, but the red tide was not enough to help out Chris Dudley in a blue state. He conceded the race tonight.
1:04 pm: Two former NBA centers were on the ballot last night, trying to win elected office. One lost, one had gone into overtime and is still waiting to learn his fate.
Former Portland Trail Blazer Chris Dudley is still waiting for the final tally of the gubernatorial vote in Oregon (as of this writing it was still too close to call). He entered the race with an uphill battle — he was the Republican candidate in about the bluest state in the nation. The last time Oregon elected a Republican governor the Simpsons was just making its debut as a short on the Tracy Ulman show (1987). But the national red wave may carry him to office.
Dudley has 49 percent of the vote, which is much better than his career 41 percent shooing percentage in the NBA.
If he wins, Dudley might be the one Republican governor invited to the White House to play basketball on the court President Barack Obama had put in. Note to Dudley: When Obama is driving for a layup and you have the block lined up, just remember the Secret Service carries guns.
Dudley fared a lot better than Shawn Bradley, the 7’6” former Maverick player who ran for a House of Representatives seat in Utah. Bradley lost that race. Bradley is a Republican who lost to a Democrat in Utah, which I didn’t know could happen.