When someone is involved in a car accident, there is a certain etiquette to how you treat the story. On Saturday night, former Duke/Chicago/New York/Orlando/Laker point guard Chris Duhon was involved in a car accident inside an Orlando parking garage.
Well, it wasn't so much an accident as it was a sociopath who got into an argument with Duhon (who was on foot at the time), and then proceeded to splatter him with his car as if Duhon were Player No. 1 of a game of Frogger.
So before I could fully report on it (the way that I want to), I needed to make sure Duhon survived (CHECK!) and wasn't seriously injured (a few bumps and bruises, so CHECK!). All good on both fronts.
So now, on with the post!
If you haven't seen it yet, here is the story, courtesy of MyFoxOrlando.com:
(The best part of the video footage, by the way, occurs at the 57-second mark, when they splice in some random civilian saying "Pretty scary" for like one-tenth of a second. WOW. That really added to the report. I mean, I was scared, don't get me wrong, but because Random Orlando Civilian No. 34,516 thinks that it's "pretty scary," now I have to question whether I even leave the fucking house. Damn you, Fox.)
In case the video isn't rolling, here are the highlights of the Duhon story in writing:
According to the police report, Duhon and his brother-in-law, Julio Hernandez, were walking on the level 2C of the parking garage when the driver of a black Lexus started honking at them to get out of the way.
Hernandez told police as the Lexus passed by, the driver rolled down his window and some words were exchanged. Then, police said driver stopped, got out of his car and argued face-to-face with Duhon.
Hernandez told officers that he separated the driver and Duhon and that he and Duhon kept on walking and the suspect got back into his car. As Duhon and Hernandez got about twenty feet away from the Lexus, Hernandez told police the driver accelerated towards them. Hernandez said he was able to get out of the way, but Duhon was hit.
According to the report, Duhon landed on the hood of the car and his head hit the front windshield. The former Magic player was taken to Orlando Regional Medical Center by ambulance.
Police said when they questioned Duhon about the incident, he didn't remember anything. They said he plans on pressing charges against the driver of the black Lexus if he is caught.
Hernandez told FOX 35 by phone that Duhon was able to walk out of the hospital later that night.
Officers are investigating this as an aggravated battery.
So here we sit, with a criminal at large. A man who was so angry and thought so little of the value of Chris Duhon's existence that he would use his Lexus as a torpedo and try to minimally cripple, if not kill, Chris Duhon.
Thankfully, Duhon left the hospital under his own power on Saturday, so we can now pick up the pieces and try to figure out who perpetrated this heinous act. Allow me to put on my detective hat for just a moment and help out the Orlando PD. I do believe that over a decade of watching Duhon flounder on the basketball court, along with a few years of glancing at Law and Order on the television while my girlfriend watches it, qualify me for this important task.
If I had to put together a suspect list for this heinous act inflicted upon one Christopher Nicholas Duhon, here's where I would start:
1. Any owner of a former NBA Duhon employer The NBA graveyard is full of bad contracts bloated by unfulfilled expectations, and with a nice grassy patch in a peaceful corner of said graveyard is the career of Chris Duhon, which saw him earn nearly $32 million for nine years in the league, and a paltry career scoring average of just over six points a game. He played on one playoff team that won a playoff series (Chicago 2007). Frankly, if I were the owner of any of those teams that signed Duhon, I would seek him out and run him over for stealing millions of dollars from me. And shortly thereafter, I would seek out the general manager who signed Duhon and run him over as well.
2. Bettors who took "UConn -1 1/2" in the 2004 Final Four semifinals Duhon is central to one of the seminal "sports book" moments of the last 25 years. In 2004, the Duke Blue Devils were playing the UConn Huskies in the Final Four in San Antonio for the right to go to the finals on Monday night. UConn was a 1.5-point favorite, had been trailing most of the night, but had mounted a late comeback to take a 79-75 lead with a few seconds to go on an Emeka Okafor free throw. All that remained was for Duke to inbound the ball, for the clock to burn off the remaining few seconds and for Duke to throw up a seemingly meaningless heave from somewhere in Shiner.
Well, Duhon threw up the Shiner Heave, and from 38 feet out banked in a three-pointer. OH SNAP! For people only interested in who won or lost the game, the shot was inconsequential. But for millions of gamblers, it was either sheer joy or the biggest wagering kick in the nuts ever. UConn won 79-78, but didn't cover the 1.5-point spread. It was estimated that nearly $100 million changed hands in Vegas sportsbooks on that shot.
(NOTE: I was at this game in the UConn section. I can attest that half of the raised arms in my section dropped with that Duhon prayer shot, even though the Huskies still won the game! GAMBLING!)
Gambling can do two things: clarify emotions and cloud judgment. Jilted gamblers know they hate Chris Duhon. It's undeniable. Also, that emotional baggage never goes away. If one of the losing bettors still held enough malice in his heart, I could see someone deciding to make Duhon a grease spot.
3. Any current or former Duke point guard When you become a point guard for the Duke Blue Devils, there is a certain career path for which you are destined. In chronological order, it goes like this:
1. Four years of slapping the floor like a spaz and humping the legs of your teammates in Durham.
2. If you're lucky, a modest pro career, likely overseas getting hot pennies chucked at you by hairy foreigners.
3. Assistant to Coach K. Forever.
Now, those seats next to Coach K are precious. By NCAA rules, there are only a few of them. Competition, I would imagine, is stiff, and I would imagine a lengthy NBA career would give one a leg up for one of those coveted spots
fetching Coach Rat Face's dry cleaning. With nine years in the league, compared to other Duke point guards, Chris Duhon may as well be Chris Paul. He destroys the likes of Jon Scheyer, Greg Paulus or any of the other random white leg humpers that would put in for a job. So it's reasonable to think that perhaps a current Duke assistant or prospective Duke assistant would want to kill Duhon, and in the process eliminate a very viable competitor from the "Coach K assistant coach" candidate pool.
4. Any right-thinking member of society Outside of those three very specific groups of people, the remaining suspects would be anybody who hates Duke basketball, despises the Cameron Crazies or pulls up Google images of "Jon Scheyer face" anytime he or she needs a chuckle. So that's pretty much everyone in society who is not a graduate of Duke University (and not named "Dick Vitale").
Let's face it, there are plenty of us out there who, if we had a free and clear shot to at least nudge one of Coach K's former toy soldiers with our vehicle, we would kinda sorta think about it. (Except for Alaa Abdelnaby, for whom I wouldn't have to think. I can tell you without question, I would run him over.)
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So essentially, I've narrowed it down to this: If you're a Duke alum or Dick Vitale, you're off the hook.
Everybody else in society, tread lightly. You're still a suspect in the Great Chris Duhon Parking Lot Caper, me included.
You're welcome, Orlando PD.
Listen to Sean Pendergast on 1560 Yahoo! Sports Radio from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. weekdays and nationally on the Yahoo! Sports Radio network Saturdays from 10 a.m. to noon CST. Also, follow him on Twitter at http://twitter.com/SeanCablinasian.