Thursday, June 4, 2009

Catching up with Chris Herren

Were you one of those kids -- like me -- who instantly became Chris Herren's biggest fan as soon as he hit the Selland Arena court in a Fresno State jersey? We saw how he constantly played his guts out. How he looked at every Fresno State fan in the arena as close family. How he looked at Jerry Tarkanian as a father figure. And how he was flat-out one of the best Bulldogs of all-time.

Then we saw that November 1997 press conference, when a teary-eyed and vulnerable Herren sat next to a choked-up Tark with video cameras rolling and newspapers photographers clicking away. Herren admitted he had a substance-abuse problem and was going to a rehab facility in the middle of the season.

But, for Fresno State fans at the time, it wasn't like the normal hoops-player-does-bad-things-off-the-court story. People felt for Herren -- he was just so darn likeable. He was an underdog with the potential to be a millionaire NBA star, but also the potential to lose to his addictions.

And now, while all that NBA potential is gone, I have a feeling there are a whole lot of 'Dogs fans still rooting for Herren. And despite what this Boston Globe story says about Herren not having many friends left, my guess is he's underestimating the Red Wave.

7 comments:

  1. you know who is this isJune 4, 2009 at 5:48 PM

    herren pretty much says in the article that he wishes he never went to fresno state in the first place. and you want to stand by him?

    the guy was a coke/heroin/alcohol addict for more than a decade and never had the sense to do something about it, despite people like mullin reaching out to him.

    lemme ask you this, how do you feel about T.O.? because he's never done anything even remotely as bad as herren — driving around city streets on heroin and playing games coked up — and people hate owens' guts.

    people should hate the real bad guys' guts, guys like herren.

    forget wasting his own talent. how many people could he have killed driving around under the influence all the time? how many meals or sets of new clothes did his three kids miss out on while he was wasting the family budget on blow?

    he doesn't deserve to have friends. and he knows it. why don't you wise up to that fact?

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  2. Duh. Doing drugs and being addicted to alcohol can harm those around you. That's bad. Not a positive thing at all.

    But to say people should hate his guts because of it?

    I don't really get the T.O. comparison. T.O's circumstances were completely different as far as I know. T.O. wasn't addicted to hardcore drugs, but he was a jerk to teammates and fans and he's always said things that lead the public to believe he's a selfish guy. Herren had addictions, but he was a pleasant person to be around. They both had egos to some degree, but Herren's ego didn't include him telling you how good he is every time you see him.

    I'm not saying Herren doesn't have things to be sorry for. But I'm saying have some compassion for the guy who seemed to be trying so hard for so long to kick a destructive lifestyle. Without friends, he might have continued to sit at rock bottom...

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  3. The drugs must have killed too many brain cells to remember why he left BC in the first place. And to slap all those people in the face that cared about him @ Fresno. And I like the Globe trying to create a happy ending for all the stupid people in Boston. I wish he does have a happy ending but the the odds of that are pretty slim.

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  4. Honestly people if you don't know a person you can't judge them. Chris has turned his life around and now runs Hoop Dreams. This is a program I personally went through and I think Chris is an amazing person.
    “Drug addiction brings with it a lot of deceit and dishonesty, and until recently I found it hard to trust Chris. Now I not only trust him I see his true character as an open, honest, caring person” (Mr. Gray, Chris’ Father In-law.)-This is a direct quote from a person who knows Chris personally to, his father in-law Jack Gray. There has been a happy ending for Chris Herren.

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  5. I agree with this last comment everyone has issues!!!! It takes a good person to overcome them which he has, all you negative people need to focus on your own obviuos character flaws!!!

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  6. Yeah, T.O calling Jeff Garcia a gay rat wasn't bad at all. I hope my son grows up to be like T.O. The first poster is very, very mistaken. SHould Herren not try to get sober and stay sober. Should people not support him because it took him so long. Get a life.

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  7. The goal of a drug and alcohol intervention is to help the individual acknowledge their behavior and recognize that they need professional help.

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