posted by Matt W on October 23rd, 2013

Years ago, there was a forward for the Seattle Super Sonics named Shawn Kemp. He was amazing. In the first game I saw him play, he jumped and pulled down a rebound that he literally grabbed from above the backboard. All the other players looked like mere mortals playing next to superman. He was an amazing athlete that had a nice career over many years in the NBA. He had many weaknesses off the basketball court but his biggest was he liked to get women pregnant. The last number that I heard many years ago was that he had 11 children from 9 different women (I think Calvin Murphy, an NBA player from the 80’s, had 14 for the record, if you can call that a record). As I’m sure Shawn is not currently pulling down an NBA type salary, my guess is he is not making his child support payments. There are numerous professional athletes that follow this disturbing trend.

Josh Hamilton plays baseball for the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim (which is the stupidest name for a team in all of professional sports). He is an admitted drug addict that as part of his contract has someone stay with him, pretty much at all times, so he doesn’t fall off the wagon. Now I’m actually quite happy that Mr. Hamilton turned his life around, he is an amazing ball player, and hopefully he can keep on the right path. The reason I bring him up is I wonder why more players don’t have people following them around to keep them out of trouble. So far it has worked out pretty well for Josh as he signed a $150 million contract this past off season. That is a pretty nice return on investment for a high end baby sitter.

The reason I thought of this topic was the tragedy surrounding Adrian Peterson’s son. Very little was actually bought up about this heartbreaking death because it was found out that Peterson has 7 children from 5 different women. While the death of his son was indeed tragic, the other tragedy is that Adrian has fathered so many children he isn’t able to be there for any of them. He is just one of a disturbing number of professional athletes with this issue. If players can’t figure out the potential results of their actions, maybe their agents and teams need to do a better job of pointing this out. Or maybe they just need to hire a lot more high end babysitters.

So back to Shawn Kemp. He had some problems with unprotected sex (among other things). His team should have had someone follow him into all those strip clubs on the road with a box of condoms.

“Shawn, I’m not saying that you shouldn’t take that stripper back to your hotel room, but you should probably use a condom big guy. Here’s a handful! Seriously use them or your contract is void.”

He could have probably even got an endorsement contract with a major condom company.

“Shawn Kemp uses Trojan condoms, and so far it has saved him over a million dollars in child support payments. Trojan… the official condom of the NBA!”

It would have saved him millions over the course of his career. It also would have eliminated many financially struggling fatherless households.  As he recently tried an unsuccessful comeback in his 40’s to make some money, my guess is he wishes he was more responsible.

File Under King of the Castle, Weekend Warrior