A different sort of horse

Sports blotter: "The opposite of 'Celtic Pride' " edition
By MATT TAIBBI  |  June 11, 2008

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Horse of the same old color
Remember former Celtic Chris Herren? A vet from the grand old days of green-and-white lore — the juggernaut era, the time of Jerome Moiso and Bryant Stith and Rick Brunson. Now, that team was a beast, unlike the collection of stiffs we’re stuck with now. Unfortunately, nothing lasts forever — not excellence and not, it seems, the once-promising career of a McDonald’s All-American and New England hoops legend.

Herren, in all seriousness, was once considered an upside-laden combo-guard type. He lasted two years in the NBA, and eventually landed in the CBA (where he most recently played for the Dakota Wizards), but was tailed all the while by whispers of off-the-court issues. Looks like he’s finally hit bottom after a drug-related arrest this past week.

Throughout the past few years, Herren would periodically appear in the news, but not for his on-the-court prowess. In 2004, in Portsmouth, Rhode Island, he allegedly lost control of his car in a Dunkin’ Donuts drive-thru; police subsequently discovered 18 empty H bags, a needle, and a spoon in his car. A year later, Herren got a heroin-related DUI in Massachusetts (he later pleaded no contest to reduced charges).

Now he’s in the soup again, headed for the dreaded jailhouse kick. On June 4, he was discovered in his hometown of Fall River, sitting in a stopped car with the engine running and in gear, slumped over the wheel. Herren was sweating and having trouble breathing, his skin an “ash-gray color.”

Cops took him to a hospital, where he regained consciousness. Police found his works in the car, however, and he’s being summoned to District Court on charges of driving under the influence of drugs, possession of a Class A drug, and reckless operation of a motor vehicle.

Not much to say about this except that it’s sad. Heroin: it’s his life, it’s his wife. Give him the minimum 25 points for the DUI, minus three for being an ex-Celtic.

Heel on wheels
Well, there wasn’t much activity on the Justin Miller Award front this year — none of the prospective NFL draftees got arrested right before the draft, undercutting their chances at professional gridiron fame and fortune. We do now have, however, the second such entrant on the NBA-draft front. Earlier, UTEP’s Stefon Jackson got himself in trouble for allegedly withholding information about an FBI fugitive (Jackson’s cousin, as luck would have it), and now we have another hoops hopeful trapped in the net of fate. Ty Lawson, point guard of the North Carolina Tar Heels, got popped in Chapel Hill on June 6 and charged with driving after consuming alcohol, violating a local “noise ordinance,” and driving with a revoked license.

Lawson, it should be noted, might very well have drawn some interest from the Celtics in the upcoming draft. An undersized one-guard with good quickness, he was on the bubble of the first round — right in the Celtics’ sweet spot, as the team certainly needs a backup for Rajon Rondo. One wonders if this incident will push Danny Ainge away from even considering Lawson . . . time will tell. In the meantime, give Ty the requisite 25 DUI points. Go Heels!

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