WEEI>On Demand>>Chris Herren talks about the ESPN documentary and his life as a basketball drug addict

Chris Herren talks about the ESPN documentary and his life as a basketball drug addict

Nov 2, 2011|

The star of the ESPN documentary Unguarded, Chris Herren, joins Dennis and Callahan to talk about his life playing basketball while on drugs.

Transcript - will not be 100% accurate

In every single country I lived and I found heroin. Every single country I lived in iPhone alcohol. And every single punch I -- NI top top appointments. Be poignant words from Chris inherited last -- terrific piece called on guarded joining us on the AT&T -- the star of the program. Chris Aaron good morning Chris how are you. Mario. What was your response -- reaction I I I missed the premier last Wednesday for reasons that don't really matter and was really looking for missing last night I was blown away by the quality in the way it was done. For the man who was in the center of that storm what did it seem like -- usual -- that. All right you know it's extremely difficult. You know I never gets easy. You know the Boston premiere was this was definitely the hardest for me because I have to sit in the audience and watch certain. You know it's different when you watch it by itself clear or deal with you know behind closed doors with his family. We've got to get up to walk around and come back to where. But you know it. Immediate it's. It's important. Not as -- said the last couple days at the easy road for me it would. -- two when my basketball company. To public speaking. The work for the substance abuse that I worked for and never and never looked back but I think that would be it a disservice to the people who would still backed. And bill Bill Simmons put out the call to his followers to send you a message after last night's show. Just give me an estimate Chris how many messages did you get on Twitter. My phone shut down I quitting you're not -- -- I couldn't get done anymore I decided you know I'm not a big. I mean try attitude that you know I wasn't a big -- guy I didn't really understand that the whole Twitter. I mean tweeting thing but I cited training -- had messages. But I picked up around 9000 followers in. Three hour period. Did you think unguarded was weld done and accurately done and a fair portrayal. I do I do. You know I thought I -- -- greatest gift of unguided act for me. Has been that you know I could develop my twelve -- -- them. You know I mean it is it got on the phone got in gut told the unguarded got pulled off the RVS can prior to last night. I I got everything I needed from it because this little Kryptonite gotten in the god I doubt that Elgin and watched it together on laughed cried and and and healed itself. I thought it was very well -- I thought it was respectful to to our younger kids. You know on that we are you know middle school kids in high -- kids could watch yet. And I think that's important. While just look can I just -- you right here almost 9000 people -- including Dwyane Wade sending a message you get did you get a few of those. I did Dwyane Wade sent me a great message. Dwyane -- did Stuart Scott you know guys from -- but you know something I I also bet. So messages saying that. You know I'm going to treatment tomorrow morning and on. You know when I I admit it's my parents last night and have a serious problems so you know we we had a screening in Newport. And and after that screen to a young a young high school kid walked up means that I just I just told my parents somewhat normal -- moment. To drop in the -- which is -- thank you. But that's that's that's priceless. You know we we watched we talked about this early Kristen. Europe message your speech was just as riveting to high school kids in a sixteen year old simply faced kids as it was to the prisoners with tattoos across their faces -- men and translates and wander in like. Reaction -- -- -- -- the end obviously -- -- -- and shaken hands with those prisons but these are stalled cold killers you're bringing to tears. You know with the same story don't know about pain. You know the Heidi you put on your kids. Fishing in the guilt you have because of their levels of despair that you brought if -- You know I don't care how tough few liable kind of gun you have you know you know how many people you can fight off me digital -- That take the pain is is. It's. Is much much much product you know that that emotional pain. And when I opened that door. At that facility with those prisoners who opened the door and arguing in this horrible polo -- And I look at guys that had to lose -- point and -- and I'm like old. When -- that connect with that it probably gonna get across to these guys these guys are gonna think like that it cannot get. What are they gonna like laughed at you jokes everything but you have them absolutely captivated. Yeah and and it was special running up those guys sent me a poster. I have in my basement. You know all. You know. Short note of of how they felt when I was there and it's amazing truly want. We're talking with Chris herren after -- last night's debut of unguarded and you said toward the end of the program mom and dad -- husband -- a father Thomas son and a junkie. That statement makes me ask you this question is it still Chris -- a dated a struggle for you you know you'll be sober today but not sure about tomorrow. Absolutely. -- you know if I do an important to have that it can't -- until tomorrow you know there's no doubt about that. You know some people look at me and and you know -- -- -- look on their face and say you know it. Well known source Sharia must be really really hot. And I look at them I think you know usually this only four and a half I mean four years ago them and it was really really tough. You know don't don't feel bad for me now -- -- you know I've been given a gift that. That some people don't get and not. So. Although it you know what I live with this forever. You know like I'm I'm doing my best of luck to maintain it and and to live live that life. Regret takes a number of forms and I'm wondering if any part of the form is do you wonder how good you could have been how long you might have lasted had you not been doing all the drugs the -- one poignant moment where you said I was out the entire night before the game. With two girls cocaine in the lasting had a drink for -- -- court was a Budweiser. You play your ass off you played well these did you spend or do you spend much time wondering how good might have been without the drugs and alcohol. You know I I would like to. I really don't I don't look back and very light on wish you know I if I did this. It would be different and because. I'm located today. And that you know sometimes sometimes you you look at and say our man -- he goes -- sound corny. You know but that's the reality you know I I I spoke to you know 2850. Students. On the other day. And I -- what the perfect ending to my story coming in you know ten and eleven years retired from the Boston Celtics. You know long career in the NBA. Telling about how was playing with Paul Pierce and Ray Allen to win a championship or is it. Coming back. Recovering drug addict because. And telling you my story. To try to get -- a fun deal and it. Because most looked at the old which as you know have much much much better chance of becoming an alcoholic or drug addict and -- out. That's that's a great point guard Chris what -- how different would it be would like be for you. If you weren't a great athlete if you would just another known junkie from Fall River. How different would it be -- They would be making documentaries we wouldn't be talking to you right now. Would you -- would you be better off for worse off. How I don't know -- I think that. I'd probably. I don't know if that's a very tough question I had a lot of support because of of my experiences in basketball. You know and that's. That's the our blessings that I have from basketball today is that you know there's a lot of people who who who have given me opportunities. And and that helped me out because of the game so. I believe I'm better off. But there's a lot of people who -- Just loved to share their their cocaine with the or you know. Give you a ride to give you some -- give you some we'd give you some heroin that enabled you along the way right. -- -- -- I mean that's that's part of it is well you know it and not but they'll also have to be a level of accountability -- You know I I could you know people always say like for me. You know -- for the man you know like you gotta get away from Fall River. And you know for a -- yet but you know something when I woke up and can run I ran all by myself. I knew what the forward this problem anymore you know when I woke up in this gamble for the was long you know far away. And at the end of the day it was me and and the fighting freaks me. Then I was gonna be good at I was gonna be good anywhere. Chris journalists there a moment in time early on that dropped -- over the cliff or was it just going to happen at some point somewhere anyway because you talked about the fact. He drank alcohol and smoke marijuana in ninth grade you talked about cocaine but the two girls in college at eighteen years of age you said that opened doors for me I couldn't close birth fifteen years it was their one moment that you said. That's the moment the pushed me off the edge. Once I got it taken OxyContin yeah that's that's well you know that's what all that swept off some. You know cocaine to different drug you know and and you know when I was in college. You know I would do on a weekend a really long weekend three days off but I put it down for a month and half you know what two months. And then you know once I once I jump into opiates and it became a daily the daily drug for me on. That's when that's when there was no turning back. You told -- Aussie dealer you have to get here to the garden tonight because I'm supposed to play and if you don't get here I'm not playing is that if you couldn't play or wouldn't play. Are just no chance to meet play and are physically I couldn't play. You know I mean there were many many many expect. You know are -- there. I guess physically couldn't handle. And if they didn't show up then walked away from the 50000 dollar contract in Bologna Italy. Because if he called training camps in the mountains. Knowing and didn't know what my wife and my son and the coach showed up and -- -- -- far I was up for the moment and no guess what. I'm not going because my drug -- thought that. While -- Did the Celtics Null all budget issues and and they do their research. Did they know they were bringing you back here -- that and then that was potentially big trouble for you and them. I don't know I don't think so because I mean I'm I'm sure there were very well aware of my issues but you know leading up to it. With the cocaine stuff but it's hard not to try and I think no. You know Denver. I had a pretty pretty healthy years -- and so there were no -- actually just said you know stay away from them on because of because the deal before. That being said once I get to the Celtics in fairness to them who were around then. I got hurt you know and once I got hurt it was like. I was -- you know I I just kind of disappeared. Do you do you want them to make a movie of the you know you we talked about this earlier it's -- well it is. -- to better story than money ball and that's ahead this could be a hit would that be a good thing for you learn and you -- I don't know. You know it's it's it's very it's it's difficult to Iraq. To gauge that I mean I'm I'm definitely a fin of this. You know looking in of this because of its -- of because of the power has. You know now. That's an opt in and you know what put weight on it you know -- Hollywood. I don't know Tibet has the same effect and and I could really to me it doesn't matter you know benefit if it would happen. You know I know that I lose a lot of control of the story. There they would have to put like wings and halo on your -- yes. That he's kept. And I get there right now. She's she comes across as we all suspected is -- on Angel a -- is she that she had enough venom in -- Is she and join us. He struggled with just like guys that you know nobody you know like I said -- -- -- -- to me that the New York -- you have to sitting here watching what does. But -- know watch yourself with a twelve by twelve had no running him out when you're when you're 22 years old. Think in that you got it all figured out it's not easy. And you know -- she had a tough time with him but it's. No I think. We know we know all too well what it's like living in in net in that -- CD. Secret. Life of shame and guilt. Buyout I don't know that Alley in Modesto looked really comfortable I was. They can snap back there. Without that the top spot for me that that was probably the toughest thing to do. I hit my bottom. That in that place. It talking about Heather great lines she had a news in the in the -- -- we had a lot of new beginnings. Did you almost lose her one point Chris. -- -- -- -- -- keep taking you back. You know I think that you know like. -- had -- that we met each other in the sixth grade. And you know -- went through. We went to a lot together from the age of twelve. -- eighteen when I left for college. And I think that. You know she would tell you that she knew who. She knew who I was before -- -- took effect in a lot of ways and in that and -- lifestyle. And on and he thought that you know I could find that person and get that person back -- I think -- was always -- and not I think god. -- pro level of compassion and and and you know where -- -- to a -- because. You know that's -- that's that's truly. A woman who stopped -- about. A couple quick technical questions or let you -- how do you say heroin in the Italian. Point in my -- Point two years I'm like you're shooting up and and then you make a transaction mean. That anyway I mean this a lot of low points and you get asked that all the time we've mentioned that before the Dunkin' Donuts crash and and drive them from bus stations and Bologna Italy while your wife and -- -- and and trying to buy heroin from people who don't even speak your language that seems like it pretty low point. There -- a lot. You know I mean any day you wake up and you have to grab up. Hypodermic needle and and put it in the -- by 7 AM. Don't function as it is is is the bottom. -- -- you to the bottom there's no doubt about it. But there was that level of desperation I mean trust me -- Tokyo and all the time. You know my vision of heroin addict with that guy with no teeth. And you know sleeping in his group. You know I had no idea that he was a professional athlete. You know I had no idea that that guy today that the guy I would note keeping tool on the sidewalk that's his last there. You know like I started somewhere. Just like I did. -- you still crave drugs and alcohol but never sometimes. Am. What that's. It's really do I rarely yet no but brought our. On and there's my mind. Once they're great while a lot less than it did. Two years ago let's say. But there you know once in a great wild look for how that went into my mind and now I'm just. You know blessed that I have -- You like it away. You ever think about bleaching your hair again with the open and so it up at a -- what's what's under the bandage on your -- I don't know I think I -- the physical with its you know what I just I just walked out of physical. I was saying don't usually shoot up that high you know it's now -- Selena. Chris -- To -- I guess congratulations are in order does very well -- it was riveting everybody's talking about it's your messages loud and clear exit to millions of people that you hadn't reached before this thing debuted last -- continued success with your sobriety would you go on the road. Crisco is there's going to be a real demand how many of those 9000 messages are asking you request -- come speak. To a group what would you do that because you know that to me the most impressive part. Was your speeches to these various groups and just tell a compelling it was -- -- just tell you reached them got through to them. Thought I mean. I'm very fortunate the American program bureau in in Boston who represent me has sent me request already this morning on. To go to to go to different places and I'm scheduled to speak at Stony Brook in New York that was set up prior to -- coming out on November effects felt. You know it's it's. It's. That is something and I I am passionate about my believing it because I know on the response I get from -- -- you know when I'm done from. From from an event and that any email that I received so that's that's something that's near and dear to me you know. It just a little -- here have your friends at ESPN. Cut down a condensed version of that and play that prior to -- during in the middle or the end of your speech when you want our tour makes a lot of sense yeah. Chris -- continued success we appreciate the times norm referenced it well. Thank you so much I appreciate it Chris -- Dennis and Callahan on the AT&T hotline get it faster with four GAT and T rethink possible.

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