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Celtic crossed

If a certifiable crazy man is signed to your position, here is what you don't do: act weirder than him
By MATT TAIBBI  |  March 4, 2009
BAD TIMING: Rather than attempting to prove his worth to the Celtics, Pruitt (right) got busted for a DUI instead.
It was nice knowing ya, Gabe Pruitt.

Here's a career tip: when your employer decides to take a major risk and sign a well-known insane person with tattoos on his head and an extremely dicey behavioral history to play your position, the first thing you do not do is go out on the night after your team loses to the Clippers and get busted for a DUI. That is what is known as "bad timing." You see, normally in that situation, what you want to do is exactly the opposite: show up to work early looking bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, smile and say "Aw, shucks" a lot, and generally act the part of the sane, responsible, hard-working, dependable character guy whom the Celtics can rely upon if and when the Stephon Marbury experiment blows up in their green faces.

Instead, Pruitt, the former USC star turned pine-riding Celtics reserve, decided to use his trip home to LA as an excuse to go out boozing and driving around in a Mercedes at 3 am, only to be arrested for DUI by the Hollywood cops. This kid never really showed the Celtics that much. He can play defense and he can shoot, but there's just something about him that never felt right. Maybe it's the way his handle blows donkey balls, or the fact that he finds a way to get stripped or bounce the ball off someone's foot about once every four trips up the floor. Maybe it's the way he just looks terrified out there, like he'll shudder violently and decompose into trace elements if someone like Ron Artest or Jason Maxiell so much as breathes on him. Who knows? But we can safely presume that Pruitt's chance to be a real NBA contributor, at least with the Celtics, took a big nosedive this past week. Give him the standard 25 DUI points, and look for him to start an end-of-the-bench discussion club with Hamed Haddadi and Mike Wilks on the Grizzlies next year.

Back to Buffalo
It's odd enough when a city has one very serious crime involving a prominent athlete, but two more the very next week is pretty rare. If it was going to happen to any city, though, you couldn't go wrong guessing Buffalo, which — after dominating this space this past week (good job, Joe Panos!) — continues its quest to be named the most doomed and screwed place on the American continent.

First, the merely very bad news. Damone Brown, a former Syracuse basketball player turned NBA Development-League star, was arrested in Reno this past week on drug-trafficking and money-laundering charges. The 6-9 forward is currently playing for the D-League's Reno Bighorns, hence his arrest in that city. But the bust came in connection with a raid in Buffalo that resulted in the friendly-fire shooting of an FBI agent. Local and federal authorities executed the proverbial "early-morning raid" on a house on the east side of town, in an attempt to break up a drug gang called "31" (so named because of the Harriet Ross Tubman School 31, where many of the suspects had gone to school). The agent was apparently shot in the shoulder by another cop. Numerous suspects were arrested, with Brown — one of Buffalo's all-time-great high-school players — being the only one out of state. It seems the basketball star is accused of providing a safety-deposit box to the gang for safe-keeping of the proceeds from drug dealing — some $170,000 was found in the box.

Brown was released on bail following his arraignment, but had to surrender his passport. So, no visiting the strip clubs in Fort Erie next time he's home, and 48 points on our list.

Meanwhile, across town . . .
Another basketball figure in Buffalo, Canisius College assistant coach Lazare Adingono, was arrested for allegedly beating his four-year-old son with a belt. Apparently there was some kind of incident in January involving Adingono and the youngster, prompting his wife to take the child to Providence. (Adingono played for the URI Rams.) The child was treated at a Rhode Island hospital for injuries on his neck, back, and arms; local authorities were contacted; and word spread to Buffalo, where police commenced an investigation.

Adingono, a native of Cameroon, was charged with felony second-degree assault and misdemeanor endangering the welfare of a child, and released on $50,000 bond. Beating a child with a belt so badly that he needs to be hospitalized makes you an asshole of the very highest order, so give him 91 points and put him in the running for our worst guy this year so far. Tough times for a city that doesn't need more of those.

When he's not googling "ick, Damone" and "Adingono ate my baby," Matt Taibbi writes for Rolling Stone. He can be reached

Related: How weird is Stephon Marbury?, Review: Rebound!, Minnesota dreaming, More more >
  Topics: Sports , Los Angeles, Sports, Federal Bureau of Investigation,  More more >
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