Darius Miles had as fascinating of an NBA career as anyone who never made an All-Star game. Taken third overall in the 2000 NBA Draft by the Los Angeles Clippers, Miles was, at the time, the highest-selected high schooler in NBA history. He was one of the faces of a wildly entertaining era in Clippers history, but he was traded after three years, bounced around for a little, injured his knee, and saw his NBA career after eight season. Since his career ended, Miles has been arrested and filed for bankruptcy, making him a poster boy for how not to do things after your career ends.
Well, that was the perception of him, anyway, until he wrote a piece for The Players Tribune on Wednesday aptly titled “What The Hell Happened To Darius Miles?” It’s funny, compelling, insightful, heartbreaking, and gives a glimpse into why Miles struggled so much towards the end of his NBA career and during retirement. Please read it, and laugh as much as I did at guest editor Quentin Richardson.
We’ll leave the heavier parts to Miles, and instead, highlight one of the many hilarious stories from his basketball career. This one involves Miles being late for practice and booking it down the 405 in Los Angeles, which led to him getting pulled over by a rather aggressive cop. As Miles tells it, the police officer kept asking where he was going, and we so big that when he looked out his window, all he saw was the police officer’s chest.
Then he bends down and looks in the window.
Big, dumbass grin on his face.
I’m like, “Yo! I’m going to practice! You made me late!”
He don’t miss a beat. He taps side of my truck, turns around and says, “Don’t worry about it. I’ll pay your fine. Just holler at me.”
I’m looking in the rearview mirror, like, How the hell …
Shaq’s got one of those old-school police lights that you put on the hood of your car like you see on C.O.P.S.
He gets in, laughing his ass off, waving at me.
Miles wrote a ton of stories, touching on about every emotion you can imagine. Some are just as funny as this anecdote about Shaq, while others are an absolutely gutting look at someone who has been through a whole hell of a lot. The important thing, as he says at the end, is that he’s doing alright now.