The L.A. Lakers personnel department may need to take a long hard look in the mirror and reassess its ability to judge character. In 2007, Javaris Crittenton, a point guard out of Georgia Tech was drafted 19th overall by the Lakers, where he struggled to find consistent playing time. Two years later, on Christmas Eve, he and a teammate drew guns in the Washington Wizards locker room over gambling debts, and he later plead guilty to misdemeanor charges.
Last night, FBI officials caught up with 23-year-old Crittenton at John Wayne Airport and arrested him on murder charges, linked to a death in Atlanta.
Crittenton was once quite the prospect, heralded by Lakers management for what they thought he may bring to future purple and gold line-ups. In his one and only season with the Lakers, he managed to average just 7.8 minutes in the 22 games in which he appeared, with 3.3 points. Not exactly the second coming of Kobe Bryant. So he was shipped out in a trade to the Memphis Grizzlies at season's end.
Whatever hype or hope that may have existed in Crittenton's young career sputtered.
The FBI warrant for Crittenton had to do with his potential involvement in the Aug. 19 murder of a 22-year-old mother of four in Atlanta, according to the Associated Press
. The young woman was walking with two men when she was shot. It is believed that one of the men was the intended target due to his involvement in a robbery, in which the former NBA player was the victim.
Crittenton was waiting for a Delta flight to Atlanta around 8 p.m. when FBI arrested him, with assistance from the OC Sheriff's Department. According to reports, Crittenton went peacefully.
His attorney maintains that Crittenton is innocent; official charges have not yet been filed.
Fortunately for Crittenton, with the state of the NBA's labor negotiations, his Developmental League team, the Dakota Wizards, probably won't be playing anytime soon. If he is, in fact, innocent, he may be ready in time for training camp.