Terrence Jones of the Rockets makes an appearance in court for his arraignment Wednesday July 31, 2013 after he allegedly stomped on a homeless man’s leg outside a downtown Portland bar. (AP Photo/The Oregonian, Bruce Ely)
The accusations stemming from Houston Rockets forward Terrence Jones‘ alleged harassment charge will not go away anytime soon. No matter what the outcome turns out to be, Jones’ reputation(as little as it may be) has taken a hit in his brief NBA career.
While Jones continues to deny, through his attorney, that he did anything more than trip over and shout to wake a homeless man, the man told a Portland television station on Thursday that Jones did step on the back of his leg.
“I didn’t do nothing,” the homeless man, 46-year-old Daniel Kellerher, told television station KGW on Thursday. “I was laying there sleeping. It was a shock, you know? Something like an electric fence went through me at that point in time.”
“You know it don’t feel good. It’s hard. I just want to cry. It’s just hard to talk about because it hurts. I didn’t think anybody would ever do that.”
Jones attorney, Kevin O’Connell released the following statement Wednesday evening:
“He did yell at him to wake up and may have nudged him. He certainly would not, and did not, intend to cause Mr. Kellerher any harm. He is confident that those who know him understand that the charge and accusation that Terrence intentionally committed a crime cannot be true. It is inconsistent with his character. Terrence is thankful for all who continue to support him and understand the great sadness he is suffering as a result of this incident.”
I have always been a supporter of the athletes’ side on legal issues like this one. Far too many times, do we see an accusation by someone of a lesser social level directed towards a professional athlete, for whatever reason it may be.
I’m not saying Kellerher has a motive by speaking out about the incident; he has already stated that he won’t press charges, and in no way am I assuming that a homeless man is looking for a way to seek attention or ‘hustle for a quick dollar’, as I have heard others say.
I also am not on Jones’ side at all in this situation. No matter what Kellerher may have done; whether it was falling asleep and being in Jones’ way, whether he was begging Jones’ for some change, or whether he was instigating some type of matter towards Jones, there is no excuse for a 2nd-year NBA player to even yell anything at a homeless man.
But this incident does shed some light to the rest of the team. While the Rockets have brought in some veterans for the upcoming season, their core is still young. In fact, in the context of society, their core group can be classified as infants compared to other professionals. They are still so young, and still have so much to learn.
Dwight Howard, who is going into his 10th season, is still just 27-years old. James Harden, while his facial hair may look like it’s 35-years-old, doesn’t turn 24 until late August. Chandler Parsons is still just 24, Jeremy Lin is 24, and the rest of the list just keeps going. Patrick Beverley just turned 25 last month, Greg Smith and Donatas Motiejunas are both 22, and even Omer Asik is still just 27.
For these young men, living the NBA lifestyle is absolute heaven, just take a look at this picture of Harden livin’ it up:
James Harden Is Winning At Life
Now, in no way am I criticizing or laying dirt on Harden(who can hate on him for being surrounded by a bunch of luxurious women?), but what I am saying is that this incident needs to serve as a pre-caution for the rest of the team. Of course, a legal issue is completely different than partying at a club, but these young Rockets will face a multitude of attention anywhere they go.
The Rockets are now a team with a lot of hype going towards next season, so cameras will turn to Harden, or Howard, or Parsons, or Lin, or Beverley wherever they go. They need to be aware of that, which I’m sure they already are. Yet, I’m sure Jones was aware of it as well, and looked what happened.