The NBA is known for greatness and has brought us so many sports moments that will not be forgotten anytime soon from Micheal Jordan Nyonnae Bryant the league has pushed the best forward. But for some of NBA superstars the fame is just to much to handle and some are left them into bad karma which caused some players to fall downward into spiral that ultimately destroyed their careers.
The list is compiled of some of the NBA players who committed crimes and eventually they were sent to prison. From drugs to assault and even murder these former NBA players really slipped up and fell below to lose millions of dollars, and respect throughout the league. Overall it saddens of us all to see these NBA players lose after making it to the NBA. Most will not reach that level in their lifetime and these athletes who had potential and greatness written all over their future ruined it. I’m sure each of these players won’t ever forget about their time in the NBA alongside other greats.
Below are the top 15 largest prison sentences given out to NBA players from year 2000 on. We should point out the list will be compiled based on their sentences in court and not the time they actually ended up serving. Check out this list and let us know how you feel about these crimes and the players listed.
15. Jason Miskiri – Two Years For Conspiracy To Distribute Drugs
Here we have an NBA player who got in trouble for selling drugs after his basketball career was over and this ultimately drove the former NBA player to be sent to prison for his involvement in a drug transaction. The worst part about this whole situation was that his prison sentence was longer than his playing time in the NBA, making this entry a even more disappointing.
Miskiri only got to play one game with Charlotte Hornets before they waived him. Miskiri would play for the few D-league teams before he chose a different path. In 2015 this former NBA player would be found guilty of conspiring to distribute more than 1,000 kilograms of marijuana. Although he had a large amount the judge only would give him two years in prison.
14. Kirk Snyder – Three Years For Aggravated Burglary & Assault
Here we have Kirk Snyder, a former NBA player who played for the four NBA teams. The Utah Jazz picked the player as their 16th overall pick in the 2004 NBA draft. Later on, he would also play for New Orleans Hornets, Minnesota, and lastly in 2008. Snyder would play for the Houston Rockets before he decided to sign a contract with with the Chinese Basketball Association‘s Zhejang Horses but his career didn’t end there. He went on to play in Halifax Rainmen PBL but he would eventually end his career in 2011 with BC Nizhny Novgorod in Russia.
Trouble followed Snyder throughout his career but it finally came to a head around May 2010 when am Ohio judge gave the athlete three years in prison for aggravated burglary and two counts of assault Snyder was also sentenced to pay 55 thousand in restitution from the 2009 incident for attacking a neighbor while he slept although Synder pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity he was still sent prison.
13. Oliver Miller – Five Years (Four Years Suspended) For First Degree Assault, Possession Of Handgun
Out of all the former NBA players named on this list Oliver Miller by far had the longest run playing in the league as his career stretches from 1992 where he was a 22nd overall pick for the Phoenix Suns. From there Miller’s career would go on to 2010 as a professional basketball player as he ended his career with the PBL team Lawton-Fort Sill Cavalry.
But Miller earned his way on our list shortly after leaving basketball when he was involved in an altercation with another man. The man was pistol whipped, and soon afterwards Miller was arrested and charged with first- and second-degree assault, reckless endangerment, possessing of a handgun, using a handgun in a violent crime, possessing a handgun in a vehicle and disorderly conduct, and the list went on.
12. Henry James – Five Years For Selling Drugs
Henry James came to the league in 1990 as he signed with the Cleveland Cavaliers and played throughout 1990-91 season. Kater the 6’8′ power forward/small forward would also play for six other NBA teams before he went over to the Philippine Basketball Association and from there he would go on to play several great seasons with the Continental Basketball Association.
But like most of the NBA players on this list, drugs had a big role in bringing this star down. In 2006 Henry would be charged with a felony for selling drugs to a police officer who was undercover on two different occasions. For his family the news was devastating. During his sentencing all of six kids showed up, but the judge had no remorse for the former NBA player as he pled guilty. James was given five years in federal prison.
11. Rumeal Robinson – Five Years For Bank Fraud
Rumeal Robinson went from winning a NCAA Championship to playing in the NBA basketball a top draft pick and playing in Pro Basketball overseas from 1990-2002 to finally living in a prison cell. Robinson had a problem with money from his start in the league and this would lead to his fall from the top of his lavish lifestyle.
In 2009 a federal grand jury brought up charges against Robinson and his then girlfriend for bank fraud and conspiracy to commit bank fraud and a few other charges stemming around fraud. In 2010 the case was settled and by that time Robinson had 11 counts of fraud charges that he was convicted. Overall he was ordered to pay over a million back to the banks along with a prison sentence of five years.
10. Sly Williams – Five Years For First Degree Rape, First Degree Kidnapping And Sodomy
The 21st overall pick for the New York Knicks, Sylvester “Sly” Williams played in the NBA for seven seasons going from the Knicks to the Atlanta Hawks before having his career cut short by the Boston Celtics for personal problems resulting in a poor performance from Sly. This forced the team to release the player during the 1986 season. Williams was pretty quiet in the immediate aftermath, but he would commit some pretty egregious acts later on.
During the early parts of the new millennium Sly was arrested for some serious charges; everything from rape to kidnapping. What’s really crazy is that Sly wasn’t given a life sentence for these charges. Despite the horrific nature of these crimes, the judge only gave this NBA player five years for pleading guilty to an array of charges.
9. Jay Vincent – 5.5 Years For Fraud
Jay Vincent is another NBA player on our list that was brought up on charges of fraud that led to prison time. This 6’7′ forward would play in the NBA from 1981 through 1990. Jay Vincent would start out his career with the Dallas Mavericks and he would ultimately finish his run with the Los Angeles Lakers.
In 2010 after many years out of the league it was reported that Vincent, along with another man had been involved in a scam to defraud 20,000 people across the United States out of $2 million. In July 2011, he would eventually admit guilt to a grand jury and for his part in this crime, Williams would be sentenced to five and a half years of prison.
8. Art Long – Seven Years On Drugs & Weapons Charges
From the basketball court to the courtroom, we have another former NBA player and High School star that ventured into illegal things after his career in the league was over. For this former player the outcome was truly tragic. Arthur “Art” Long had a long history in the NBA as he played alongside some of the greats from 1996-2010 but who would ever think this athlete would end up in prison…
In 2013, Long was arrested and charged with several drugs leading to a distribution charge. Police also found stolen weapons which lead to more charges for the former NBA player during a search of his home in 2013. From that point Long would have a court date and in 2015 Long would be convicted of several charges drugs and weapon related charges Long received seven years in federal prison.
7. Keon Clark – Eight Years For Weapons Charges
Keon Clark the 13th overall pick for Orlando Magic in the 1998 draft but Clark didn’t get to play for Magic, as he was traded before the season started to the Denver Nuggets. After three strong years with Denver he would end up moving on to a few other teams in the NBA, including the Toronto Raptors, Sacramento Kings, Utah Jazz and lastly he would be traded to the Phoenix Suns.
During his career Clack set the NBA blocks record in a game, posting 12 while he played for the Raptors. After his career ended in 2006, Clark would get into trouble for drugs and weapons charges. He would be sentenced to 2.5 years in prison but Keon happened to get the charges thrown out because of a mishap by the courts. However, he didn’t take advantage of the lucky break, as in 2013 Clark would get into more trouble and be sentenced to eight years in prison for some more weapons charges.
6. Tate George – Nine Years For Fraud
Another former NBA star who fell to the pressures of the fast life was the 6’5 giant Tate George who played for the New Jersey Nets and the Milwaukee Bucks. As a college basketball player Tate really stood out from the rest as he helped his college University of Connecticut teammates win a impressive tournament game in 1990. He will be forever known for that win and for having a highly strong college career.
But it’s sad to say Tate would eventually fall into trouble and on September 23, 2011 the former NBA player would turn himself over the police on fraud charges related to his business The George Group, that was reported to involved in a major Ponzi Scheme. On September 30, 2013 George was found guilty on several counts of wire fraud but three years later on January 21, 2013, George would be sentenced to nine years in prison for his financial crimes. In addition to the prison time, George will also have to pay $2.5 million in restitution.
5. William Bedford – 10 Years For Drug Possession
Former NBA 7’0″ center William Bedford seemed to have a bright future ahead of him as a professional basketball player but fell hard during his climb to the top of league. Although William was selected as a first round (6th overall) draft pick for the Phoenix Suns in the 1986 NBA draft, he would play for the Detroit Pistons, and the San Antonio Spurs. Bedford’s time in the NBA was swift, lasting only six seasons.
Bedford came in the league strong but drugs seemed to trouble this NBA player from the start of his career to the ending and ultimately after his career was over the former NBA first round draft pick arrested several times for drug charges. In 2001 Bedford would fall victim as he was arrested for his involvement in transporting a large amount of drugs. Afterwards in 2003 Bedford would be arrested two more times for drug charges. Fed up, the judge hit Bedford with a devastating 10 year sentence.
4. Mookie Blaylock – 15 Years For Vehicular Homicide (Later Reduced To Seven)
Mookie Blaylock one of the brightest athletes on our list. Blaylock accomplished so many things and will go down in NBA record books for many different feats, outlining his strong NBA career with the Golden State Warriors, New Jersey Nets, and the Atlanta Hawks.
On May 31, 2013 Mookie’s life would change forever as he hit a car head on, killing a passenger in the vehicle. Many things are speculated to have caused the crash and many believe that Mookie’s history of seizures might have played a part in this crash. Needless to say the crash was ultimately Mookie’s fault and he was charged with vehicular homicide. On October 27th, 2014, Mookie pled guilty to the charges. The judge gave the former NBA player a plea deal resulting in seven years of prison. He served three years while having the other four on a suspended sentence where will serve eight years probation.
3. Javaris Crittenton – 23 Years For Voluntary Manslaughter with a Weapon and Aggravated Assault with a Firearm
Javaris Crittenton played in NBA from 2007-2009. Afterwards this point guard/ shooting forward ran into a few troubles that would be the start to his fast downward spiral. Following a 2009 altercation with a teammate involving guns, Javaris wouldn’t ever get a chance to play a full season in NBA.
In 2011 Crittenton was charged with murder. Reports say that Javaris Crittenton shot a mother of four in the leg and she lost tons of blood which led to her death. Cops eventually caught up with the former NBA player he would be booked and charged with a few crimes, with murder at the top. Crittenton would then proceed to make a large bail payment but while on bail he would be involved in a major drug bust and things didn’t get any better the from there. In 2015 the judge would hit the former NBA player with a big prison sentence of 23 years in prison.
2. Tom Payne – Total Of 30 Years
A tragic story. He is 7’1 and he could box and and play basketball. This man truly was a talented athlete who was the first black man to play basketball for Kentucky college but bad decisions ruined Tom Payne’s life and career by doing some gruesome crimes that would outshine all of his athletic abilities.
Payne seemed be starting off a promising career with the Atlanta Hawks averaging high numbers in only 29 games but would fall victim to bad choices involving rape and other charges. He would serve five years for the crime and be released from prison in Kentucky and be put on parole, but a few years later he was caught in the act of rape in California. He would serve 15 years in California before being released in 2000, only to be sent back to Kentucky, being found guilty of violating parole and he was handed another 15 years.
1. Edward Lee “Fast Eddie” Johnson – Life Sentence
One of the saddest stories on the list comes from former NBA player Fast Eddie who played 10 seasons but made his name known from his skills throughout his time in the league. Initially a small forward for the Atlanta Hawks, Johnson would ultimately finish his career in Seattle with the Super Sonics in 1987.
During his career Joohnson had troubles on and off the basketball court with drugs. Eventually in 1986 he would check into rehab but that would lead him into more troubles. After he didn’t follow through with mandatory drug counseling, the NBA was done giving the player chances and banned him from the league for life. This would lead to over 100 arrests for this former NBA player. In 2008 came the worst of it all, as Johnson would be convicted of a chilling crime involving an 8-year-old girl. Johnson would receive the life in prison for his terrible sexual motivated crime.
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