As if losing Chris Paul wasn’t enough, and Doc Rivers being demoted wasn’t egg on the face, and J.J. Redick choosing the 76ers wasn’t humiliating, and all the pretending that the Clippers 2017-18 isn’t Blake Griffin and mediocrity, if that isn’t enough to make you say uh-oh, then the free agent signing of Willie Reed, who was just arrested, will seal the deal.
Willie Reed, a 6-10 back up center who was undrafted 6 years ago and spent most of his career in the G-league before playing 39 games with the Nets and 71 games with the Heat, just signed a free agent deal with the Clippers last week, and can’t even let the ink dry on his contract. Talk about buzzkill. His arrest Sunday morning on a misdemeanor battery charge because of a domestic violence incident between Reed and his wife has thrust the Clippers deeper into the abyss. 99 Clippers problems is what if feels like.
The acquisition of Reed- and his questionable character (more on that later)- on Thursday was the last player get of the Doc Rivers GM tenure. After he signed his minimum deal, Rivers was stripped of his GM title. Indirectly, Doc Rivers is responsible for this latest Clippers train wreck.
The back up center, according to police reports, became enraged once his wife told him she wanted a divorce. He told her to get out but to leave everything behind. The arrest report obtained by CBS News stated that the two fought physically. As she was trying to exit, his wife was thrown to the ground and dragged by the hair when she attempted to leave with one of their children. Reed is accused of twisting her arm and she hit him in the back of the head with a candle to free herself. Afterwards, she called the police.
Willie Reed said he never touched her in the way she described but the police noted red marks on her left wrist, right biceps, back and chest, and that her left foot was swollen.
This is where it gets dicey for Reed and the Clips. In the old CBA, no punishment was levied upon players until after an assault case worked its way through the courts with a no contest or guilty verdict adjudicated by the system. Then the league would issue a suspension as they did in the Darren Collison (Kings) domestic violence case at the beginning of last season. Innocent until proven guilty was the league’s attitude. But on July 1st, the rule changed. The league can send its own investigators to uncover the truth before a judgement of guilt or innocence is made via the court system and the league can then render its own verdict, being both the judge and jury. This is only for sexual assault, domestic violence and child abuse cases.
The punishment can come sooner rather than later. The commissioner can go as far as placing players on paid leave while the investigators are sorting through the detritus.
Reed isn’t unfamiliar with trouble. At Saint Louis University, he was suspended the fall semester (2010-11 year) for his involvement in a sexual assault case that involved four players and one woman. He returned to school in the spring but then withdrew because he didn’t meet the terms of his reinstatement. He then declared for the NBA draft and has had an unremarkable career, 5.1 points, 4.1 rebounds, 13.2 minutes.