Out of Bounds: Inside the NBA's Culture of Rape, Violence, and Crime is a searing indictment of professional basketball players who live in a world where criminal laws and social norms don't exist, a world where they are given license to act above the law.
On the court, they dazzle us with their spectacular physical feats. They generate millions of dollars of revenue for the NBA and their teams. They inspire adulation. But underneath all the glitz, the money, and alley-oops is a seamy underbelly, a rash of lawlessness that is gripping the NBA.
Based on a first-of-its-kind investigation into the criminal histories of 177 NBA players from the 2001–2002 season, Out of Bounds shows that an alarming four out of every ten NBA players have a police record involving a serious crime. They are All-Stars and they are journeymen, involved in crimes ranging from armed robbery to domestic violence to gun possession to rape.
Out of Bounds takes a hard look at shocking cases, with graphic accounts of physical and sexual violence and other outrageous conduct by players. In all, more than 250 people are named, including many prominent NBA players. It exposes the environment and culture that encourages such criminal behavior. It also explains the unique challenges these cases pose for law-enforcement agencies and prosecutors. And Out of Bounds takes readers inside the hidden yet critically vital role that lawyers, agents, and fame play in insulating criminally accused players from accountability.
Author Jeff Benedict, an expert on athletes and crime, draws his conclusions from exhaustive research. In addition to his criminal-background checks, the author retrieved documents from law-enforcement agencies, courts, and private attorneys. He conducted more than 400 interviews with police officers, prosecutors, defense lawyers, players, agents, victims, witnesses, and coaches. What emerges is a disturbing and appalling picture of men who live above the law.
A seminal and important work, Out of Bounds will forever change how we look at the NBA and its stars' lives of excess and privilege.
In what is bound to be one of the more controversial sports books of this year, Benedict (Pros and Cons: The Criminals Who Play in the NFL) applies his superb investigative reporting skills to the "dark, sinister side" of dozens of NBA players, painstakingly detailing criminal behavior ranging from drug abuse and domestic violence to armed robbery and rape. Using criminal background checks on nearly 200 NBA players; thousands of pages of trial transcripts and other legal documents; and more than 400 interviews with police officers, attorneys, players, victims and witnesses, Benedict tells hard stories, some well known and others discussed in depth for the first time here. Benedict also has no fear of naming some big names including all-stars Patrick Ewing, Gary Payton, Glenn Robinson and Damon Stoudamire to detail what he calls "the rash of lawlessness that is currently gripping the NBA." Benedict exposes how life as a touring player in the NBA offers vast amounts of free time and sex, encouraging criminal behavior and leading to a warped perception of women and their availability, as well as producing an environment "hot-wired" to produce incidents of sexual assault. He explains how the "see-no-evil approach" of NBA teams and their armies of lawyers fosters the perception in players that they are above the law, leading to outrageous behavior toward law-enforcement officials. As well, he explores the role that agents play in keeping criminally accused players from accountability. This is an excellent book that proves its point that life in the NBA is "out of control and absolutely demands close scrutiny."