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Tom Knott: On a ride to nowhere
Examples of professional athletes gone wild behind the steering wheel of an automobile could fill a tome.
Randy Moss spent a night in jail in 2002 after a traffic agent motioned to him not to make an illegal turn in downtown Minneapolis, and Moss decided the best way to resolve the matter would be to nudge the traffic agent a half-block with his 2002 Lexus.
Only a professional athlete could come up with a creative conflict-resolution measure like that one.
Blatche is almost a saint compared to a few of the franchise’s past greats on the highways.
Chris Webber was once charged with three misdemeanor and six traffic offenses in Prince George’s County in 1998.
Webber compounded his predicament by resisting arrest, being in possession of marijuana and not having a driver’s license.
It took two police officers and lots of pepper spray to subdue Webber, who was a mere 24 years old then.
Sloppy driving habits were a hallmark of the franchise in those days, as was Webber going into a celebratory frenzy after dunking the ball in the first quarter to put the team up 9-7.
At some point, the players should have employed personal chauffeurs and considered it a cost-effective move, given their legal expenses.
Rod Strickland was busted for disorderly conduct and driving under the influence after making an illegal U-turn in the District in 1997.
Strickland was a young 31 years old at the time but at least was quick-witted enough to ask the officer, “Do you know who I am?”
The officer apparently was supposed to feel this thrill going up his leg, to borrow from Chris Matthews, who brings lots of cheeks to the talk-show business.
Juwan Howard was charged with driving while intoxicated in 1996.
Blatche has a way to go before he enters the hallowed company of Webber, Strickland and Howard.
But give him credit.
About the Author
By John R. Bolton
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