UNHAPPY ENDINGS: 5 NBA careers destroyed by drugs & alcohol

UNHAPPY ENDINGS: 5 NBA careers destroyed by drugs & alcohol

Getting high makes one feel like they’re on the top of the world but it’s hard to realize that it might irritate their future. There are players who saw their career ending due to excessive drinking and smocking. Here are five players that had potential to have great careers but they ended up in drugs and alcohol.

5. Ty Lawson

Ty was drafted 18th overall by the Denver Nuggets in the 2009 NBA draft. He was traded to the Houston Rockets in the next season and then the downfall began.  The NBA suspended him for a total of five games for separate instances of driving under influence of alcohol. He was waived by the Rockets in a buyout agreement.

A year ago, he had also been sentenced to a month at a residential rehabilitation center. He has been arrested three times for driving under influence (DUI). A 29-year-old Ty Lawson was soon out of the NBA after brief stints with the Indiana Pacers and the Sacramento Kings. He now plays for the Shandong Golden Stars of the Chinese Basketball Association.

4. O.J. Mayo

O.J. Mayo was drafted third overall in the 2008 NBA draft (ahead of Russell Westbrook, Kevin Love, and DeAndre Jordan). Scouts must have seen something in him to draft him above players like that. He was runner-up to Derrick Rose for the Rookie of the Year award. He had a solid sophomore season as well, averaging 17.5 points on 45.8% shooting.

However, he tested positive for the steroid dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) and the NBA was suspended him for 10 games. For the 2013-2014 season, he joined the Bucks but missed many games because of his conditioning, appearing in a career-low 52 games. His career trundled along until 1 July 2016 when the NBA banned him for using “amphetamine and its analogs (including, but not limited to methamphetamine and MDMA), cocaine, LSD, opiates (heroin, codeine, and morphine), and PCP.”

3. Shawn Kemp

The Reign Man Shawn Kemp dazzled the NBA with his high flying dunks and legendary post-dunk celebrations. His alley-oop connection with Gary Payton is the stuff of legends. The six-time All-Star averaged 19.6 points and 11.4 rebounds for the Seattle Supersonics during the 1995-96 season. For some time, the sky was the limit for Kemp.

From the Cavs to Portland Trailblazers at the end of the 1999-2000 season, Kemp’s drug problems really started to surface. His first season with the Blazers ended prematurely as he had to enter a drug rehabilitation center. Because of his cocaine and alcohol abuse, his production also dipped from 17.5 points per game to just 6.5. In the end, he never really managed to salvage his career.

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