Mike Bibby carved out a very nice career for himself. The diminutive guard out of Arizona began his career with the Vancouver Grizzlies before eventually joining the Sacramento Kings. While in Sac-Town, Bibby was a huge reason for the Kings’ emergence as a Western Conference contender. Now out of basketball, Bibby looks wildly different than he once did…
As one can see, Bibby (pictured on the right) has been hitting the gym quite heavily. Once he retired, Bibby became the head coach of Shadow Mountain High School. He led the team to four-straight state titles. Bibby now captains a team (Ghost Ballers) in the Big3.
Image Source: Deadspin
During the prime of his career, Ben Wallace ushered in a new era of ‘Bad Boy’ Pistons basketball. He played bigger than his size indicated, and thus became an elite defensive player. Wallace won the Defensive Player of the Year award on four separate occasions. In the process, he was integral in helping Detroit best Shaq, Kobe, and the Los Angeles Lakers during the 2003-04 NBA Finals. Upon retiring from the game, Wallace dealt with some real demons…
In multiple interviews, Wallace admits to suffering from depression once he walked away from the game of basketball. He was arrested in 2011 for a DWI, and also was charged with leaving the scene of an accident in 2014. Since then, Wallace has turned it around. He’s currently the part-owner/President of the Grand Rapids Drive (the Pistons’ G-League team).
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Mehmet Okur was a victim of playing in the wrong era. The 6-foot-11 big man preferred spreading the floor from deep rather than banging in the post. For his career, Okur shot a blistering 37.5 percent from beyond the arc. The 1-time All-Star played 10 years before leaving the NBA in 2012. Since then, he’s still had heavy involvement in the sport…
Okur worked for two seasons as an ambassador for the Utah Jazz. The Turkish international then became an assistant coach for the Phoenix Suns — specifically focusing on player development. He was ultimately fired after one season. Currently, Okur lives in San Diego with his family. He has completely stopped playing basketball (even recreationally), though he likes to hike and box in order to stay in shape.
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Hedo Turkoglu was a very solid role player for the vast majority of his NBA career. First emerging as a member of the Sacramento Kings, Turkoglu became one of the league’s best bench players. He then went to Orlando, where Turkoglu put up career highs in PPG (17.5), RPG (6.4), and APG (5.5). He holds the distinction as being the first Turkish basketball player in the history of the NBA. Currently, Turkoglu is back home working tirelessly for his home country…
Since 2016, Turkoglu has been a chief advisor to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. He’s even been embroiled in a back-and-forth tiff with current NBA player Enes Kanter. Kanter supports the opposition to Erdogan. As such, Turkoglu isn’t his biggest fan.
Image Source: Sports Illustrated
J.R. Rider was a player with a ton of natural ability. An insane leaper, Rider unsurprisingly won the 1994 Dunk Contest. However, throughout his career, Rider struggled on and off the court. Issues with substance abuse ultimately led to a seven-month jail sentence. Now in the year 2019, has Rider turned it around?
Rider currently lives in the Phoenix area. In 2019, he agreed to become a coach for highly regarded Phoenix Hillcrest Prep. Rider will also hold the position as the skills development director. Founder Nick Weaver offered his thoughts on Rider:
“Isaiah is going to bring a wealth of knowledge to the program and be a great mentor to all of the kids. He will add a new dimension to the program being he was a long-time NBA player that had a ton of success.”
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To this day, there are only a handful of players possessing Shawn Kemp’s ability to thunderously dunk the basketball. A player perhaps most resembling Zion Williamson in terms of physicality and athletic ability, Kemp was one of the league’s very best during the ’90’s. He doesn’t get the same publicity as Charles Barkley or Karl Malone. However, Kemp’s talent was undeniable. Though Kemp was a star on the court, his life off the court didn’t go as smoothly…
Kemp has been arrested multiple times for drug possession. One of his seven children — Shawn Kemp Jr. — most recently played at the University of Washington. After failing to latch on with a team in Italy, Kemp retired from the game. Most recently, he’s the owner of a nightclub/lounge in the Seattle area.
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Ron Artest (Metta World Peace)
Metta World Peace (formerly known as Ron Artest) was quite the athlete. A physical yet skilled specimen, Metta transitioned from an All-Star-level scorer into a defensive-minded role player. If we wash away the mold from the ‘Malice at the Palace’ incident, Metta’s career professionally was quite impressive. Now in a new chapter in his life, Metta is dabbling in a number of different fields.
Metta has helped to develop his son (Ron Artest III) into a college basketball player at Cal-State Northridge. He’s also appeared on a number of reality television shows (including Big Brother, Figure It Out, Dancing With The Stars, and Key and Peele). His company, The Artest Management Group, aids fellow athletes in building one’s brand through various marketing platforms. Most recently, Metta has become an advocate for mental health issues.
Image Source: Kevork Djansezian
8-time All-Star Alex English is often underrated when speaking about some of basketball’s most prolific all-time scorers. People forget that English averaged over 21 PPG throughout his career. He was a three-time All-NBA Second Team member, and even led the league in scoring during the 1983 season. Since retiring, English has had a very colorful life….
English has acted in multiple films since retiring from the game of basketball. One notable role came in the 1996 basketball film Eddie (where English played the head coach of the Cleveland Cavaliers). He’s also held basketball camps for underprivileged children in a number of countries. Most recently, the South Carolina native became an on-camera basketball analyst for the SEC Network.
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Aside from LeBron James, there’s never been another player entering the NBA with such hype. Yao Ming certainly lived up to it, as the gigantic 7-foot-6 center made 8 All-Star appearances in 10 seasons. Most importantly, Yao acted as a de facto ambassador of basketball to his native China. His prevalence helped the sport explode across Asia. Since retiring, Yao hasn’t shied from the limelight…
In 2016, Yao was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. Splitting his time between Beijing and Houston, Yao was most recently elected as the Chairman of the Chinese Basketball Association. He participates in a number of charities (such as the Special Olympics and conservation of endangered species). Duly, Yao also is the owner of his former team, Shanghai Sharks.
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Before we get into why Antoine Walker was a bit of a cautionary tale, the player himself was quite good. The Chicago native made three All-Star teams, and had the ability to score from virtually anywhere on the floor. However, financial issues caused Walker to squander the $108 million he made during his professional career. In 2019, has he figured everything out?
As of 2013, Walker was completely debt free. He was able to turn his life around and figure out the financial issues which had plagued him for years. For the last four years, he’s worked for Morgan Stanley as a means to educate college and professional athletes on how to manage their money. Duly, Walker has made appearances on radio networks and sports television shows as an analyst.
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One of the purest shooters in NBA history, Mark Price sits as one of the best players in the history of the Cleveland Cavaliers’ franchise. The 4-time All-Star had his best season in 1993. Price averaged 18.2 PPG and 8.0 APG on 41.6 percent from three. This resulted in Price becoming an All-NBA First Team selection. As Price retired from the sport, he soon realized basketball would forever be in his blood…
Price has been a coach at all levels since retiring from the NBA. He initially started at a Minnesota high school before eventually coaching in Australia. Stints as a ‘shooting consultant’ for multiple NBA teams were then followed with the head coaching job of the Charlotte 49ers. After two years, Price was fired. Since then, he had a one-year run as the shooting coach of the Denver Nuggets (before also being let go in 2019).
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The Kentucky native was quite dynamic during his time in the NBA. Chapman delighted his hometown fans at the University of Kentucky before embarking on a productive 13-year NBA career. Once his playing days ended, he began working as a front office member for multiple NBA teams. This is where trouble began for Chapman…
In 2014, Chapman was arrested for stealing upwards of $14,000 worth of goods from an Apple store. After selling the items at a pawn shop, Chapman was eventually arrested. During this time, he also entered rehab for his addiction to pain killers. Fortunately, Chapman has kicked his habit, and is working with young people battling the same demons. Additionally, the former athlete has one of the funniest Twitter accounts on the internet.
Image Source: Sports Illustrated
“White Chocolate” Jason Williams was a true joy to watch on the floor. Though he possessed less-than-ideal size and athletic ability, the West Virginia native was a wizard with the basketball in his hands. His passing skills were phenomenal, and Williams always played with a ton of enthusiasm out on the floor. Since retiring in 2011, what’s he been up to?
A basketball-loving savant, Williams continues to play basketball quite often. He’s a fixture in many pro-am settings. Williams was slated to play in the Big3 before suffering a knee injury. Today, Williams — living in Miami with his family — is a proud father to his son Jaxon. The youngster has already gone viral for videos of him driving around helpless defenders. With his handle already close to his father’s, don’t be surprised to see the younger Williams make some noise down the line.
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For 10 years, Larry Johnson terrorized opponents as a member of both the Charlotte Hornets and the New York Knicks. Bouncy yet powerful, Johnson was a ridiculously gifted rebounder. He carved out space effectively, and played with an energy level few matched. Once he retired from the sport, owner James Dolan made sure Johnson didn’t stray too far away from Madison Square Garden…
In 2012, Dolan hired Johnson to work for the Knicks as a basketball and business operations representative. He goes to every home game, and works alongside Dolan as a PR figure. We give Dolan credit for giving back to a player who gave so much for the franchise. There’s still no word on whether Johnson would want to come out of retirement and join the other 73 power forwards on the Knicks’ current roster.
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At one point in time, Baker was one of the league’s best power forwards. At 6-foot-11, he could bang in the post — but also stretch the floor from the perimeter. A 4-time All-Star, much of his production came with the Milwaukee Bucks and the Seattle SuperSonics. Off the court, his financial standing was a mess. Baker reportedly squandered $100 million. He also had issues with alcohol abuse. Fortunately, Baker was able to turn things around for the better in 2019…
Baker stopped drinking completely in 2011. At one point, he was the manager of a Starbucks in Connecticut. However, since then, Baker became a television analyst for the Bucks. In 2018, Baker was hired as an assistant coach for Milwaukee under head coach Mike Budenholzer.
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Oliver Miller was often made fun of due to his weight. The rotund big man was quite skilled. However, his inability to get in tip-top shape hindered his overall ceiling as a basketball player. Miller bounced around from situation to situation without much in the way of consistency. As his career ended, his personal life became tumultuous…
In 2011, Miller reportedly got involved in an altercation at a barbecue. He was charged with first and second-degree assault (among other transgressions). He was sentenced to five years in jail — though he only served one year. Miller moved to Arizona, where he was reportedly selling cars. He’s also worked diligently to get his weight down (he’s lost 60 pounds as of 2018).
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Penny Hardaway is the classic case of “what if” when it comes to being an elite basketball talent. Hardaway had all the ability in the world. At his very best, Hardaway was a fringe top-10 player during his prime. However, injuries cropped up, and Hardaway was never the same player again. In 2019, Hardaway found another challenge on the hardwood…
A proud native of Memphis, Hardaway still has deep roots in his hometown. He has multiple businesses in the greater Memphis area. Additionally, he’s been a fixture in the community for years. In 2018, Hardaway’s alma mater hired him to run their basketball program. He’s hit the ground running, as Hardaway has already proven to be an exceptional recruiter.
Image Source: The Commercial Appeal
The story of Delonte West is an incredibly sad one. After starring in college alongside Jameer Nelson, West appeared ready to carve out a very good NBA career. He was a steady role player for the Boston Celtics and the Cleveland Cavaliers. However, West bounced around multiple teams before ending up overseas in China. Since then, things have appeared to be very grim…
West has reportedly been diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder. In 2016, a fan saw West wandering around a Jack-in-the-Box parking lot with a hospital gown on, and no shoes. Other reports had West panhandling for money in his native Maryland — though he denied needing the money for himself (and instead said it was going to a homeless man he was helping). A few years earlier, West was pulled over — only for the cops to find multiple guns in his vehicle. In 2018, the last report of West included him selling his 4,471 square-foot home in Maryland for nearly half of what he purchased it at originally. The home sadly went into foreclosure.
Image Source: The Nation
Despite Kobe Bryant not being a huge fan of Bynum early on, the gangly high school center developed into a huge piece of the Lakers’ championship pursuit. Bynum made one All-Star team, and helped LA win two championships during his eight seasons. A multitude of injuries prematurely ended his career in 2014. In 2019, what’s the 31-year-old been up to?
To be honest, Bynum has flown under-the-radar since retiring from the league. He showed up to Game 4 of the 2016 NBA Finals with a completely bizarre hairstyle. Most recently, clips have surfaced of Bynum attempting to get back into the NBA. He’s been in the gym launching threes — and actually does appear to be in pretty good shape. However, there’s no word on whether any NBA team will give him another shot.
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Those in the Windy City were elated upon the Bulls drafting hometown kid Eddy Curry with the No. 4 overall pick in the 2001 NBA Draft. Unfortunately, a messy situation involving an irregular heartbeat and the front office cut Curry’s promising tenure short. He then bounced around multiple NBA franchises before ending up overseas in Asia. Today, Curry’s life is far different than it once was…
This past year, Curry featured for the Zhuhai Wolf Warriors in the ASEAN Basketball League. Currently, he plays on a Big3 team called the Killer 3s. It features former NBA players Donte Greene, Josh Powell, Stephen Jackson, and C.J. Watson. Curry has seven children — including four with his current wife Patrice (who appeared on the reality show Basketball Wives).
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Picked No. 1 out of high school, everyone — including Michael Jordan — believed that Kwame Brown was destined for superstardom. As we saw, that certainly never came to fruition. Brown’s lack of skill hindered his ability to score around the basket. Duly, he wasn’t the most attentive as it pertained to defending the rim. Though he was a bust in the NBA, it hasn’t stopped Brown from hooping in recent years…
Brown has been a recurring member of the Big3 League. Interestingly enough, he was selected as the No. 5 overall pick in the league’s inaugural season. He’s in terrific shape when compared to many of his peers, and still has enough game to be one of the league’s better players. Kudos to Brown for continuing on his basketball journey.
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“Big Z” was a lovable character in Cleveland. While he won’t confuse anyone for Hakeem Olajuwon, Ilgauskas was still effective in his own way. He made two All-Star teams, was an All-Rookie selection, and saw his number retired by the Cavs’ franchise relatively recently. Since he finished playing basketball, what’s he been up to?
A highly benevolent human, Ilgauskas and his wife adopted two orphan brothers from his native Lithuania. Continuing his life in the United States, he recently became a volunteer assistant coach for a high-profile high school in the greater Cleveland area. In 2018, Ilgauskas also was honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award by the city of Cleveland.
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Ah, poor Darko. It wasn’t his choice that Detroit opted to select him over the likes of Carmelo Anthony, Dwyane Wade, and Chris Bosh. The Serbian big man averaged only 6.0 PPG for his entire career (and never more than 8.8 PPG in a single season). Known as one of the biggest busts in NBA history, Milicic decided to disappear into a completely random field…
And by field, we mean a cherry field. Milicic had a very brief career as a professional kickboxer. However, he’s since headed back to Serbia, where he operates a very successful agricultural business on a 125-acre farm. He makes a considerable profit exporting cherries and apples to other countries around the world.
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“Mighty Mouse” Damon Stoudamire was a fun NBA player. Diminutive in size at only 5-foot-10, Stoudamire played the game with terrific competitiveness and energy. The first three years of his career in Toronto had him averaging 19.7 PPG. He tailed off somewhat later with Portland — though he still remained as a very valuable member of the franchise. A very heady player, it came as no shock to see Stoudamire pursue this field after his playing days…
Upon retiring, Stoudamire jumped full-bore into the coaching profession. A short stint at Rice was followed by assistant coaching jobs with Memphis, Arizona, and the Memphis Grizzlies. In 2016, Stoudamire was hired as the head coach of Pacific. In three seasons, he’s accrued a combined record of 39-58.
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“Big Country” Bryant Reeves is by all accounts the de facto face of the now-defunct Vancouver Grizzlies franchise. The lumbering big man out of Oklahoma State had surprising touch to go along with a massive frame. Reeves never panned out as an elite player. However, he was beloved by those in both Memphis and Vancouver. At the conclusion of his career, where did he end up?
Reeves disappeared into relative obscurity. He ended up in a tiny Oklahoma city, where he owns a 300-acre cattle ranch. A father of three children, his son Trey is currently a senior forward on Oklahoma State’s basketball team. If you’re ever down in Stillwater, there’s a good chance you’ll get to see “Big Country” in person.
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Jerry Stackhouse was an absolute killer for stretches during his NBA career. During the 2000-2001 season, he averaged 29.8 PPG for the Detroit Pistons. Stackhouse had terrific footwork for a bigger guard. Duly, he had no qualms over attacking the rim off the bounce. On five separate occasions, he averaged more than 20 points per contest. Once his NBA career subsided, Stackhouse realized that he couldn’t leave the game fully…
Stackhouse initially began his post-NBA career as a commentator. However, that profession quickly ended upon Stackhouse getting a job as an assistant coach with the Toronto Raptors. He then was able to coach the Raptors G-League team. This appealed to Stackhouse, as he loved developing younger players. After a short stint with the Memphis Grizzlies as an assistant, Stackhouse was named as Vanderbilt’s head coach in April of 2019.
Image Source: The Vanderbilt Hustler
“Starbury” was billed as the next great guard to come out of New York. The Brooklyn native was a virtual legend in his neighborhood before attending Georgia Tech. While Marbury averaged 19.3 PPG for his career, he was often troubled by off-the-court issues. In 2010, Marbury made a decision which ultimately has shaped the rest of his life…
Marbury has spent the last nine years of his life in China — and it doesn’t appear as if he’ll be coming home anytime soon. He’s so beloved in the country, that China built a statue for him, put his likeness on a stamp, and even created a musical about his life. Marbury received a Green Card from China, and thus is now a permanent resident. He’s currently the head coach of the Beijing Royal Fighters.
Image Source: Hollywood Reporter
Swift was drafted No. 12 overall out of high school by the Seattle SuperSonics. Expected to be an elite big man prospect, Swift failed to make any impact in his four-year NBA career. A number of personal issues plagued his life — including problems with drug use. This caused a one-month stint in jail. While it looked like Swift was on the course towards a potentially deadly end, something changed it all…
After struggling though a very tough period in his life, Swift cleaned his act up. In 2018, he signed with a Spanish basketball team. He featured for the team, and even became a fan favorite. Swift is engaged, and appears to be in a very happy state at the moment.
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Steve Francis had the talent to be a future Hall of Fame player. Quick and explosive with the ball in his hands, few were able to check the former Maryland star. He had a seven-year run which included three All-Star appearances and a Rookie of the Year Award. Everything appeared trending positively for Francis. However, inner demons soon took control of his life…
Francis quickly fell out of the NBA at only 31 years of age. After the death of his stepfather, Francis fell into a deep depression — which ultimately led to the abuse of alcohol. His appearance has changed over the years, and he’s been arrested multiple times for various crimes. In 2018, Francis penned a heartfelt essay for The Players’ Tribune about his struggles with alcoholism (among other sad issues). Less than two weeks later, he was arrested for public intoxication in Los Angeles.
Image Source: The Players’ Tribune