By Eric Freeman
Former NBA guard Rex Chapman, who played 12 seasons for four teams over a well-regarded career, was arrested Friday for allegedly stealing more than $14,000 in merchandise from a Scottsdale, Arizona Apple Store. According to area police, the 46-year-old Chapman stole the items over seven different instances during the last few months.
Sgt. Mark Clark said Rex Chapman is alleged to have picked up items in the store, located near Scottsdale Road and Greenway, and made it appear that he was paying for the items through the store’s self-checkout. He would then leave the store without actually paying for the items. He reportedly took the items to a local pawn shop and sold the goods for cash. […]
Chapman was originally identified by multiple employees based on his stint in the NBA, which included several seasons with the Phoenix Suns. […]
Chapman is facing nine counts of organized retail theft and five counts of trafficking in stolen property.
The arrest is only the beginning of the legal process, but things certainly do not look very good for Chapman. We will have more details on the story as they become available.
As a basketball player, Chapman starred at the University of Kentucky before becoming the first-ever draft pick of the Charlotte Hornets in 1988. However, he is most often remembered as a Phoenix Sun due to his dramatic fallaway three-pointer to force overtime against the Seattle SuperSonics in the first round of the 1997 NBA Playoffs. The Suns went on to lose the game and series, but Chapman’s shot has lived on long after the memory of the result. Even before that play, he was a fan favorite around the league who would have earned rampant blog and Twitter attention for his wild style of play had such outlets existed at the time.
Chapman has remained in the public eye since the end of his playing career. He has served as director of basketball operations for the Suns, worked as vice president of player personnel for the Denver Nuggets, and commentated on NBA games and NCAA Tournament games for national networks as recently as 2013. In April, he earned attention just a few hours before the NCAA title game between Kentucky and Connecticut by tweeting that John Calipari had already accepted a deal to leave Lexington for the Los Angeles Lakers. Chapman changed course a few days later, and the Lakers hired Byron Scott as head coach in late July.