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Thread: Former NBA star Adrian Dantley working as a crossing guard

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    Default Former NBA star Adrian Dantley working as a crossing guard

    http://deadspin.com/why-is-one-of-th...orki-453840265

    Why Is One Of The NBA's All-Time Greatest Scorers Working As A Crossing Guard Now?
    Day after day, Adrian Dantley hangs out on a street corner in his hometown, like some cliché of a pitiful ex-ballplayer years after his athletic prime. But Dantley's neither a cliché, nor is he pitiful. He's a crossing guard.


    The greatest 6-foot-5 post player in the history of the NBA now pulls morning and afternoon shifts at a busy intersection outside Eastern Middle School in Silver Spring, Md. The job, which he took at the beginning of this school year, earns him $14,685.50 a year, according to Montgomery County civil service records.

    "He doesn't need the money," a Dantley associate tells me. The guard-forward was legendarily cheap during his long and fruitful NBA career, and he still lives nearby in a home he purchased in 1990 for $1.1 million, one that a former agent said "was virtually free and clear" of debt back in 1996.

    "He's not going to just sit around," the associate continues, "and he just doesn't want to pay health insurance." Turns out that NBA veterans aren't provided health insurance by the league, not even all-timers like Dantley. Crossing guards in Montgomery County, however, are.

    Dantley, who didn't return phone messages to discuss his current occupation, always had a reputation as greedy on the court and frugal off it. His résumé is second to none among undersized big men. His teams at DeMatha, six miles from Eastern Middle School, went 57-2 with Dantley in the lineup in the early 1970s. He was All-America in high school and twice more at Notre Dame, which he left in 1976 after three seasons. He led the U.S. team in scoring during its gold-medal run at the 1976 Olympics.

    His NBA career peaked, numbers-wise, during his stay in Utah that began in the early 1980s. For each season between 1981 and 1984, he averaged more than 30 points a game. He retired in 1991 after 15 seasons and 23,177 points, making him the ninth-leading scorer of all time to that point. He loved free throws, naturally. Dantley still shares records for foul shots made in a quarter (14, playing for Detroit against Sacramento in 1986) and a game (28, while with Utah in 1984 against Houston). He hated squandering possessions as a player, too: Dantley shot 54 percent on his career, the highest-ever mark registered by anybody 6-foot-5 or shorter.


    While Dantley always thrived in traffic, he wasn't any good at playing well with others. For all his offensive production, Dantley could never last in one place very long. He played with seven different teams and always seemed to leave town in a cloud of bad feelings.

    He was bounced out of Utah after the 1985-1986 season following an awful negotiation with Jazz brass. It would take Dantley three years of crossing guarding just to earn enough to pay the fines he got while holding out ($44,000) for that last Jazz contract, a three-year, $2.85-million contract that was big for its day. Just before trading Dantley to the Pistons for Kelly Tripucka, Jazz head coach and general manager Frank Layden pulled one of the all-time management dick moves in pro sports history by fining Dantley $3 and making him pay it off in dimes--a figurative "30 pieces of silver" for an alleged betrayal, like Judas before the Last Supper.

    Had Dantley actually been invited to that Biblical meal, chances are good he would have brown-bagged it: According to a Washington Post profile written after he retired, Dantley kept food per diems in his pocket. Jazz president Dave Checketts, picking up dickishly where Frank Layden left off, slammed Dantley after the trade: "We knew we had to get rid of him and we were never so happy to get rid of a guy in the history of the franchise.'' Dantley left Detroit steaming, too, traded to Dallas for Mark Aguirre in 1989 amid reports of altercations with head coach Chuck Daly and evil choirboy Isiah Thomas. Dantley's departure from Detroit came a year after leading the Pistons in scoring during an NBA Finals loss to the Los Angeles Lakers, and months before Detroit's Bad Boys would win a championship.

    Dantley never got that ring, but he played hard wherever he was, and he never hid the fact that he appreciated the fruits of his labors. "One of my goals, when I was young, was to be a millionaire," he told the Los Angeles Times in 1986. "Not a millionaire with assets, we're talking liquid millionaire. I'm there. So that makes me feel pretty good."

    There were some bumps on the way to the bank. Dantley and agent David Falk fell out after Falk had worked out a deal during the 1989-1990 season that enabled the Dallas Mavericks to void the last year of Dantley's contract, effective at the end of that season.

    Dantley broke his leg just after that agreement, and his career was effectively over, minus the million bucks he'd have been paid had the contract not been voided. Dantley then sued Falk for $15 million in 1995, blaming his adviser for bad financial counsel during his playing days that Dantley said had cost him $1.5 million.

    After filing the suit, Dantley told the Chicago Tribune that he'd asked Falk again and again about the investments and was never given any hint of trouble. "They said everything's fine. No problem," Dantley said. "I said it better be fine because I'm not going to spend much, sacrifice for later down the road. My money better be there. They said, 'You're set.'"

    Dantley hired R. Kenneth Mundy, another legend in D.C. for helping former Mayor Marion Barry beat almost all of the drug and corruption charges he'd ever faced. Mundy painted Dantley as fiscally prudent, telling the Washington Post that Dantley avoided extravagances and lived on "about $1,500 per month" during his NBA career. The litigants settled the case just before trial, and while the details of the deal were to remain confidential, rumor around D.C. has always been that Falk's side gave Dantley's people every penny they'd asked for to avoid having the agent's business methods aired in public. Falk did not return a phone call for this story. Mundy died in 1996. Washington attorney Richard J. Leveridge, who represented Dantley after Mundy’s death, declined to comment on the settlement other than to say he was "choosing to honor" the confidentiality agreement.

    Dantley's last job, as an assistant coach with the Denver Nuggets, also ended badly. He was canned after the 2010-2011 season for refusing to sit in a row of seats behind the players, as head coach George Karl had asked his aides to do.

    Dantley knew he'd bruised folks during and after his playing days. "I've got enemies out there," he told me in 2007, after he had been bizarrely denied again for the basketball hall of fame.

    But those wounds seem to have healed, and all the honors that took too long to come Dantley's way have been realized in the past few years: His jersey was retired by the Jazz in 2007, and in ceremonies related to the event Layden took the blame for everything that went wrong. Dantley was elected to the hall of fame in 2008 after way too long a wait. And Notre Dame, which he left amid some squabbling with Digger Phelps, put him in the school's Ring of Honor in 2012. In a speech given as his jersey was hung in the rafters at the Joyce Center, Dantley tried to explain to the kids that life didn't get much better than college, even for superstars.

    "Enjoy your years here at Notre Dame," he said. "You get a job in the real world, it's going to be a lot different."

    Dantley's real-world job these days, though not as glamorous as his old one, has its benefits. Lots and lots of benefits, actually. Montgomery County officials took a lot of heat after a 2010 story in the Washington Examiner, a D.C. newspaper, reported that crossing guards there were taking in about $41.50 an hour. "Once considered the best-kept secret among a workforce of 30,000," the newspaper reported, "the position has become one of the county's most popular, particularly among those seeking health care coverage for their families." Guards are part-time employees, and they normally put in one hour a day, but they receive the same insurance and benefits package as full-timers.

    On a recent morning I was sitting in a car at the intersection that Dantley guards, and just minutes before the first period bell was to ring, I saw him lunge in front of a running youngster, who was oblivious to everything but her own fear of tardiness, and keep the kid out of the path of a turning automobile. He went about this lifesaving task with all the effort he'd put into stopping Isaiah Thomas from driving to the basket or David Falk from touching a paycheck. It was as if the gods wanted me to know Dantley's not on anybody's dole.

    Friends of Dantley are amused that he's taken a position that pays him less than 1/350th of the average annual income of an NBA player. But they aren't surprised that he took the job, or that he takes it seriously. "Adrian's cheap. But he's not going to take free money," says an associate. "That's not Adrian Dantley. No matter what the job is, he's gonna show up on time, and give other people **** if they show up late."

    After Dantley's holdout in Utah ended with a big contract, Layden whined that the star player was getting the fans' sympathy: "Hell, don't feel sorry for Dantley. Feel sorry for the guy who carries a lunch pail."

    A quarter-century later, Dantley's carrying the metaphorical lunch pail. But there's still no reason to feel sorry for him. Hell, he had a snow day last week.

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    Member naptownmenace's Avatar
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    Default Re: Former NBA star Adrian Dantley working as a crossing guard

    Great story and I'm glad it wasn't one of those sad riches-to-rags type of stories.

    The 1988 Pistons vs Lakers Finals is by far the best NBA Finals that I've ever seen. Several games went down to the last shot and Adrian Dantley was a beast.

    I think Dantley should've received a Championship ring from the '89 Pistons considering he was a member of the team for over half the season. Dantley probably would've refused to accept it if they had but it would've been a nice gesture.
    Quote Originally Posted by vnzla81
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    Larry is not coming back, he didn't have a meeting with Orlando for not reason, yeah he is coming back to the NBA but not to the Pacers, the notion that he is a taking a year off and then come back is absurd.
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    Default Re: Former NBA star Adrian Dantley working as a crossing guard

    September 1, 1977: Traded by the Buffalo Braves with Mike Bantom to the Indiana Pacers for Billy Knight.


    1 1 1977-10-19 21-233 IND LAL L 12 10 14 .714 34
    2 2 1977-10-21 21-235 IND @ CHI L 11 4 6 .667 26
    3 3 1977-10-22 21-236 IND KCK W 2 14 15 .933 18
    4 4 1977-10-25 21-239 IND DEN W 10 12 12 1.000 32
    5 5 1977-10-28 21-242 IND WSB W 10 14 17 .824 34
    6 6 1977-11-02 21-247 IND SEA L 5 8 11 .727 18
    7 7 1977-11-04 21-249 IND @ LAL L 4 6 9 .667 14
    8 8 1977-11-06 21-251 IND @ POR L 9 6 8 .750 24
    9 9 1977-11-09 21-254 IND @ GSW L 11 14 16 .875 36
    10 10 1977-11-11 21-256 IND @ SEA L 13 6 10 .600 32
    11 11 1977-11-13 21-258 IND @ PHO L 9 9 13 .692 27
    12 12 1977-11-15 21-260 IND @ BUF W 6 2 3 .667 14
    13 13 1977-11-16 21-261 IND POR W 8 10 10 1.000 26
    14 14 1977-11-18 21-263 IND @ NJN W 12 13 18 .722 37
    15 15 1977-11-19 21-264 IND @ NYK L 7 6 10 .600 20
    16 16 1977-11-22 21-267 IND @ NOJ L 7 15 16 .938 29
    17 17 1977-11-23 21-268 IND GSW W 9 13 18 .722 31
    18 18 1977-11-25 21-270 IND PHO L 12 11 11 1.000 35
    19 19 1977-11-26 21-271 IND @ DEN L 7 7 9 .778 6 21
    20 20 1977-11-30 21-275 IND MIL L 11 12 15 .800 34
    Rk G Date Age Tm Opp GS MP FG FGA FG% 3P 3PA 3P% FT FTA FT% ORB DRB TRB AST STL BLK TOV PF PTS GmSc
    21 21 1977-12-02 21-277 IND CHI L 12 6 8 .750 30
    22 22 1977-12-03 21-278 IND @ DET W 7 1 4 .250 15
    23 23 1977-12-10 21-285 IND PHI W 7 8 10 .800 22

    In 23 games, he averaged 26.5 PPG for the Pacers. He might still have the all-time PPG record for the team if he'd played enough games to count.

    As I recall, the trade was as much about getting rid of Dantley as it was acquiring James Edwards.

    December 13, 1977: Traded by the Indiana Pacers with Dave Robisch to the Los Angeles Lakers for James Edwards, Earl Tatum and cash.
    Why do the things that we treasure most, slip away in time
    Till to the music we grow deaf, to God's beauty blind
    Why do the things that connect us slowly pull us apart?
    Till we fall away in our own darkness, a stranger to our own hearts
    And life itself, rushing over me
    Life itself, the wind in black elms,
    Life itself in your heart and in your eyes, I can't make it without you


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    3 Inch Vertical Kraut N Beer's Avatar
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    Default Re: Former NBA star Adrian Dantley working as a crossing guard

    Wipe Face, Wipe Face, Stare at Floor, Dribble, Dribble, Dribble, Dribble, Dribble, Flip Grab and Rotate Ball, Shoot.

    One of the slowest...... free throw....... shooter........ ever........ And he lived at the line.

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    Default Re: Former NBA star Adrian Dantley working as a crossing guard

    Quote Originally Posted by ChicagoJ View Post
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    September 1, 1977: Traded by the Buffalo Braves with Mike Bantom to the Indiana Pacers for Billy Knight.


    1 1 1977-10-19 21-233 IND LAL L 12 10 14 .714 34
    2 2 1977-10-21 21-235 IND @ CHI L 11 4 6 .667 26
    3 3 1977-10-22 21-236 IND KCK W 2 14 15 .933 18
    4 4 1977-10-25 21-239 IND DEN W 10 12 12 1.000 32
    5 5 1977-10-28 21-242 IND WSB W 10 14 17 .824 34
    6 6 1977-11-02 21-247 IND SEA L 5 8 11 .727 18
    7 7 1977-11-04 21-249 IND @ LAL L 4 6 9 .667 14
    8 8 1977-11-06 21-251 IND @ POR L 9 6 8 .750 24
    9 9 1977-11-09 21-254 IND @ GSW L 11 14 16 .875 36
    10 10 1977-11-11 21-256 IND @ SEA L 13 6 10 .600 32
    11 11 1977-11-13 21-258 IND @ PHO L 9 9 13 .692 27
    12 12 1977-11-15 21-260 IND @ BUF W 6 2 3 .667 14
    13 13 1977-11-16 21-261 IND POR W 8 10 10 1.000 26
    14 14 1977-11-18 21-263 IND @ NJN W 12 13 18 .722 37
    15 15 1977-11-19 21-264 IND @ NYK L 7 6 10 .600 20
    16 16 1977-11-22 21-267 IND @ NOJ L 7 15 16 .938 29
    17 17 1977-11-23 21-268 IND GSW W 9 13 18 .722 31
    18 18 1977-11-25 21-270 IND PHO L 12 11 11 1.000 35
    19 19 1977-11-26 21-271 IND @ DEN L 7 7 9 .778 6 21
    20 20 1977-11-30 21-275 IND MIL L 11 12 15 .800 34
    Rk G Date Age Tm Opp GS MP FG FGA FG% 3P 3PA 3P% FT FTA FT% ORB DRB TRB AST STL BLK TOV PF PTS GmSc
    21 21 1977-12-02 21-277 IND CHI L 12 6 8 .750 30
    22 22 1977-12-03 21-278 IND @ DET W 7 1 4 .250 15
    23 23 1977-12-10 21-285 IND PHI W 7 8 10 .800 22

    In 23 games, he averaged 26.5 PPG for the Pacers. He might still have the all-time PPG record for the team if he'd played enough games to count.

    As I recall, the trade was as much about getting rid of Dantley as it was acquiring James Edwards.

    December 13, 1977: Traded by the Indiana Pacers with Dave Robisch to the Los Angeles Lakers for James Edwards, Earl Tatum and cash.
    It was a bad trade since the Pacers didn't even keep James Edwards that long. The Pacers early 80's front office was as incompetent as any NBA team has ever had. Adrian Dantley, James Edwards, Alex English, all traded for no good reason and no real plan.
    Quote Originally Posted by vnzla81
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    Larry is not coming back, he didn't have a meeting with Orlando for not reason, yeah he is coming back to the NBA but not to the Pacers, the notion that he is a taking a year off and then come back is absurd.
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    Default Re: Former NBA star Adrian Dantley working as a crossing guard

    Quote Originally Posted by naptownmenace View Post
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    It was a bad trade since the Pacers didn't even keep James Edwards that long. The Pacers early 80's front office was as incompetent as any NBA team has ever had. Adrian Dantley, James Edwards, Alex English, all traded for no good reason and no real plan.
    Late 70s. No $. No $. Needed $. Had to have $ to survive. Needed $.
    BillS

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    Default Re: Former NBA star Adrian Dantley working as a crossing guard

    Quote Originally Posted by BillS View Post
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    Late 70s. No $. No $. Needed $. Had to have $ to survive. Needed $.
    That doesn't cover trading the 1984 First Rounder for Tom Owens....

    Or the offered deal from Houston had we just let them have the Ralph Sampson pick instead of going through with the coinflip....
    "Nobody wants to play against Tyler Hansbrough NO BODY!" ~ Frank Vogel

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    Default Re: Former NBA star Adrian Dantley working as a crossing guard

    I'm over the Tom Owens trade, finally. Mainly because I know we'd have taken Sam Bowie rather than Jordan anyway. It's just the type of thing that we did back then.
    The poster "pacertom" since this forum began (and before!). I changed my name here to "Slick Pinkham" in honor of the imaginary player That Bobby "Slick" Leonard picked late in the 1971 ABA draft (true story!)

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    Default Re: Former NBA star Adrian Dantley working as a crossing guard

    explains why tax rates are so damn high in montgomery county.

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    Default Re: Former NBA star Adrian Dantley working as a crossing guard

    Was a big Earl Tatum & Mike Bantom guy. Winning.

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    Default Re: Former NBA star Adrian Dantley working as a crossing guard

    Quote Originally Posted by Slick Pinkham View Post
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    I'm over the Tom Owens trade, finally. Mainly because I know we'd have taken Sam Bowie rather than Jordan anyway. It's just the type of thing that we did back then.
    Not if we had taken the offer from Houston for their 1984 First Rounder if we had let them just have the 1983 First overall pick.

    With Stipo already in place, can you say Hakeem AND Michael?

    Somewhere, there is an alternate dimension where that very scenario occurred......
    "Nobody wants to play against Tyler Hansbrough NO BODY!" ~ Frank Vogel

    "And David put his hand in the bag and took out a stone and slung it. And it struck the Philistine on the head and he fell to the ground. Amen. "
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