WEEI>On Demand>>Former BC guard and Boston Celtic Chris Herren talks addiction and basketball

Former BC guard and Boston Celtic Chris Herren talks addiction and basketball

May 17, 2011|

Fall River icon and former Boston Celtic point guard Chris Herren joins D&C to talk about basketball and his drug addiction

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Transcript - Not for consumer use. Robot overlords only. Will not be accurate.

And elected by the Denver Nuggets in the second round of the 1999 draft played for the nuggets and the Boston Celtics played collegial in Boston college and Fresno state the pride of -- feet high school. In 2009. -- launched hoop dreams with Chris herren a basketball player development company to mentor players on and off the court. -- a book out called basketball junkie are written with Bill Reynolds -- -- joins in the studio or Chris -- tomorrow pretty good to be in between -- where you are now a lot of stuff has happened while we used that term here launching point. What was the what -- the opposite of a launching point is for you when was the moment you stepped over the edge and ends that your life on a direction that you took a long time to get straight. That's that's a tough question but I I would say. When I became. With with the life of drugs when I became physically addicted to two substances and and dove into. A life of -- OxyContin. That's when there was really no turning back from me because it was it became a daily. Daily dependency. Let's rock bottom was at did not -- strive through. Do I guess is a few rock blogs that there is definitely if you that was you know something that I was so. Wrapped up in my addiction at that time. And I remember walking out of the jail -- Portsmouth and not meaning knowledge that's how. Please acknowledge the fact you just an actor -- just keep that dispense and I'm Ngo and I just overdose nine and I was just noted. Com has been heroin and that was in 2004. I just remember saying you know what this is gonna go away and not and not dealing with that and is now in my head. What was the progression of drug's ability to get all those possessed bit better place as well if you do this and lead to that if we do that'll lead to this what was the progression for you frontal logically. Chronologically. When we'd first he little alcohol little -- Little host and gen X and then. To cocaine -- painkillers yet. OxyContin and into. What was the that tipping point. When before you put the needle in -- for the first time for her and I had to be bit did you think about it did you did you wanna do where you're afraid to do it. You have -- I was afraid I but it was a you know once -- once you get into that lifestyle of OxyContin and painkillers. You know your circle of friends. You know that that's -- that would that -- and people sign it's me on a daily basis. Why are you spending so much money -- -- OxyContin when you can spend less jump into heroin and you know -- just got to believe -- and one day I was house and and there was no OxyContin around them and it was need to know one -- -- -- And I chose. To sit there and let this woman. And I haven't SA. -- can rationalize a lot of things I'm sure -- how do you rationalize a needle in the you can't there is no rationalizing once you you know. You weren't sure when you're at that stage. You know all bets are off and and I couldn't rationalize I mean I knew where I was out in January I was going with it and do feel good. Not another few the first time you math but listen it's. It you can I can honestly say at that moment in time it probably felt good. But seconds later. It was it was not. You know was horrible. And you had. How many kids at this point. At that point I had 22 kids two kids yet and did them attitude. Of course they did it's just you know or. It's it's again it's hard to explain my kids my kids matter to me my wife man it's me but the -- Matamoros that you know -- getting daily. Our daily fix. We wish -- is more important timing and. And -- have you analyze and gone to the process enough to understand order have a reason your mind why you chose the road you chose because most people look at you and said. This has got everything go on for absolutely everything going form and he -- one path on the road that very few people would have chosen what drove you down that side of the street. Well I would say to those people you have to walk down the -- that I walked on before you make that assumption you know and not. You know yeah I mean I grew up in Boston -- groping in Massachusetts to become a Celtic was my it was my dream and just eat you know I had some issues. You know underlying issues going to -- and I and and all those issues came out in the end I. It's it's tough to really pinpoint you know it really is I had so many things going on at a at a young age. Note to recruiting process and so on and so forth that I put a lot of internal pressure on myself to be good at something and took on a lot of burden. And and united say it all the time that I look for other resources once that once passmore became stressful to me. I became. I started living that double life I want to go elsewhere you know I wanted to to burn off that that's being somewhere else and I found that inning and -- How often do you sit there and whatever -- quiet and lay in bed and say. I was a Celtic and I'm -- amid ha I'll how deep does the regret to go I can't imagine. Now it doesn't imitate straight up now on I don't believe about you got it because that's straight up honest about IDR. I am honestly so happy. At this point in my life that I don't worry about would've could've should've -- no doubt about it there was a time in my life where I was extremely. Embarrassed. Extremely ashamed of all my accomplishments. I when he can look at the Celtics I wanna talk about the Celtics don't talk about her feet Fresno BC anything. And down. And today I can accept that for what it is and and I was I was a local kid 62 white kid from former Massachusetts that that made it and made to the. And other people even now probably listen to us realize how good you were moved and -- field. I mean they -- -- -- for the Celtics while but it was you know. Not the glory days -- Celtics out and played for BCO or template for Fresno or remain they don't realize that what you could have been -- -- -- Well who called you the best white -- is Jerry West Tarkanian that secretary -- came in the best white guard since Jerry West that's a lot of white guys between Jerry West and this and you and you know could abandon an NBA he could have meant a lot of money yeah. That's okay though I'm I was in an honest to got to you know I could've made a lot of money a year and a half -- -- -- George -- -- -- with that the nuggets had listened. I consensual overseas to make a lot of money right now and playable in in I and I respectfully decline idea. I have no desire to I have no desire to relive it. You know on I'm happy where I'm Matt and you know the money I make today is is enough. Speaking of desire doesn't twinge. Ever occur -- you. Certain things happened people -- when they -- -- -- the one have a cigarette -- do certain circumstances certain locations certain songs certain anything trigger a little twins that said. Oh I missed. On the blank yeah. You know that obviously there's times where where. You know that I I become a pops in Manhattan today. It's less you know used to be a lot more to be my first year of sobriety I fought those urges. Quite a bit. Today I don't really have -- you know I just sat on the side of a guy flying from Atlanta red -- Sweden red -- the whole flight yeah. You know I mean it has there have been doing euphoria they did it and I felt bad for yeah you know and I watched him drink yeah -- and that was his sleep aid for the red eye and I sat there are waking and and fell asleep. You know when I was ready to -- and that's big because you know for many years I depended on on substances to put me down with me up. It seems like you -- a lot of bad moves wrong moves and and a lot of time she knew. It was in the right move you Google and VCU new -- Fresno. Was not the right move. And you knew have a -- buddies from home go out there would probably not the right move. Is -- one thing or two things that you say the packets if I just didn't do that maybe wouldn't turn them differently. Well you know part of me says that if when I was coming out of high school I would've. Probably benefited from go up prep school Maria you know getting. A little more freedom. But but with structure. You know idea. I think that would be a move that I would make. You know after Wright left the scene I blew that opportunity Fresno pretty much was the only school call you know so I almost had to take. That was kind of halfway house slash college at that point yet and he was looking for success in and I have no problem saying that he you know he was post -- -- -- -- -- -- his Korea and he wanted immediate success. Hands you know he took on a lot of second chance as he took a lot of junior college players. And it it was a recipe for our you know it could've been a recipe for great team just wasn't Nixon wasn't bad that you guys had their moment to be UMass up. We were what ninth in the country yeah. We took duke when they when number one in the country right to the edge you know we we while rebound by by about 25 rebounds and stayed in the game with them so. We were good we were we were really good in that conference was -- I mean that lacked confidence when you were out there and and I think Andre Miller keyed in on king on clock Shawn Marion. Michael Doleac. In -- out now you you were allegedly. Clean and sober when I went to see you yes I'm with Sports Illustrated we meet we sit today restaurant bar. And -- have dinner whatever and and talks at the bar and is a bunch. -- Around that -- felt like Vegas pilot fish around our Chretien and he is and I'm -- and he had action on something because it TV's ago and that one's in the wind. And you think that I knew. I was on TU wasn't necessarily -- -- you always want to use this atmosphere of the -- this environment around you there's no way that was gonna work -- yeah. You know something and if I if you know. Since that moment. I've always reflected back and said you know telling him had -- -- you know we really did you -- told you. He said are a few a few words to me when you're leaving on my remember my dad was out there. And -- IE at that time I had a very very good coach John Welch who was sober in now is the assisting with the Denver Nuggets and he kept me under his wing for the most -- at certain times. But you know. It was hard to keep me grounded not I was I had my own my own. Agenda. You never wanted to -- interact did you mean you never really wanted to you thought you could do -- I thought I could manage yeah yeah thank you management yet. Handle it and you could for a a good long time. But what the kicker was for me when some of them with Chris east and back to his apartment wherever. -- -- from Fall River are live in there and aunts and what could go wrong batting order -- -- -- -- I was out -- everything can go and he had I think among them you know went out -- -- grandfather idea. The kids from Fall River went up there and didn't come back and I was asking is who wanted to do for a living just you know for a while. And you have like a weak enough and you and your body drove LA that the party. I'm not sure that was the winning formula for getting sober. No it definitely wasn't you know. The whole situation wasn't the right formula the timing and mostly because was tonight and I think it's very important that this message is is -- Out is is put out there that in order once told me as a -- get away from Florida -- thome get away from Boston and get away from Fresno. And and I believed I believed that I had to get away from my friends I had to get away from from from an area. And then. Iranian met thirty years old Warsaw Poland I've been to seven countries I've gotten hung in every single one of them in I've been in hotel rooms by myself for the last ten years and has been just me. I'm so so geographically. You know I tried all those cures and it went in and really just never paid off you know. Before we get to the pay off and what your life has become now on how you're helping people message of the book basketball junkie by Chris Tarrant. What was below point Jerry mentioned the Dunkin' Donuts and what what when -- -- know maybe -- the time what was looking back absolute rock bottom for prisoner. What's amazing is that you know I had hundreds of might think every day in in the world -- c.s and heroines is a rock bottom and but. You know overdoses arrests at a mall com on June 4 2008 I crashed my car was found in the car brought back to life. And when a way to treatment for about 3540 days and my wife has given birth to a third son. And they suggested that I just go home for a couple hours and come right back and once again. You know I went on my -- It was my call and I said I'm gonna go for three days and I'll be back and I went back to that that substance abuse -- under the influence and when I went back on the influence. -- the cults is this at Simeon. You'll do the most courageous thing you've ever donning a life you know and and and on Korea wife and tell her that you never gonna see her again -- the kids then. And you know I laid in bed that night and I I contemplated whether or not that was the call you know whether or not. That was the best thing for everybody involved was for me to. Let my wife my kids go and I prayed I cried and and and and I have had the the desire to or on using Drago aren't -- of alcohol of their debt. All right we got got a ninety seconds buckle -- -- -- to -- a little bit perfect we have a bunch of people wanna talk to you know got a bunch of textures everybody as a Chris -- story you're probably aware that by -- -- by canceled his first car Nissan and you were you were complaining there was no air conditioning unit that ring a bell. Everybody's got to Chris -- story we'll talk with the we'll talk with Chris or ninety more seconds from now.

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