Can Javaris Crittenton post up Jackson Vayhue, or would the slightly taller small forward Vayhue swat guard Crittenton's shit away?
Crittenton does have the advantage of being real, but the murder arrest of the LA Lakers' 2007 draft pick does bring to mind Vayhue, the character from the late '90s-early aughts HBO series Oz. Vayhue was played by Rick Fox, the real athlete-actor who, despite beginning his career with the hated Celtics, is a Laker for life.
And so, fantasy campers, let us have the real and unreal crime-iny players go at it one-on-one, after the jump . . .
Crittenton: Drafted by the Lakers but traded to Memphis his rookie year. The Washington Wizards picked up the guard in December 2008 and he also spent three weeks on the Charlotte Bobcats roster before never again playing in the NBA.
Vayhue: It was never really made clear which NBA team he played for before entering Oswald State Correctional Facility, also known as "Oz," and its experimental unit "Emerald City," or "Em City," in 1997.
Score it: 1-0 Vayhue, who has more NBA time in flashbacks than Crittenton did his entire career.
Crittenton: Tallied a career high 23 points with the Grizzlies in a 130-114 win over the New York Knicks on April 2, 2008.
Vayhue: Oz creator Tom Fontana says in the audio commentary to the series finale that had Fox played for the Knicks instead of the Lakers, Vayhue would have received more screen time.
Score it: Critt and a 1-1 tie.
Crittenton: He was suspended and later released by the NBA for flashing an unloaded gun at Wizards teammate Gilbert Arenas, who flashed his own unloaded gun right back at Critt, during a tiff in the team locker room over a gambling debt. As Charles Barkley might've said were he named Javaris Crittenton, "I ain't no role model."
Vayhue: He had been a major role model to Augustus Hill, the big-hearted Oz inmate who was confined to a wheelchair and served as the series narrator. But Vayhue's drug addiction and beating of cellist Eugene Dobbins for no real reason disillusioned Hill, who only regained some regard back for his childhood idol when Vayhue, despite certain arrest, carried the injured Dobbins to safety during a riot.
Score it: Another tear in my eye recounting that scene, not because of Vayhue's tenderness but . . .
. . . MY GOD, did you get a gander at the size of that unit when he was tossed naked into the hole? Let's just say the late, great Chick Hearn could have filled a jar with the mustard off that hot dog. Vayhue, 2-1.
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Crittenton: After his NBA days were over, he played in China and last with the Dakota Wizards of the D-League.
Vayhue: After prison froze his NBA career, he and inmate Agamemnon Busmalis demolished screws Tim McManus and Sean Murphy/Dave Brass in a best-of-three, two-on-two, season 4 Oz tourney. Yes, it helped that Sacramento Kings prospect Brass had his Achilles tendon sliced just before game three. But also recall that before game 2, Vayhue took a guard's malicious baton to the knee. And in season 6, Brass tried to kill then-parolee Vayhue.
Score it: Playing in China and the D-League is still rougher than a knee injury and assassination attempt; 2-2.
Crittenton: The FBI arrested Critt at John Wayne Airport on Aug. 29, 2011, for allegedly shooting from a car and murdering Jullian Jones, a 22-year-old mother of four, in Atlanta. Police do not believe Jones was the b-baller's intended target, as he was allegedly hunting four dudes who robbed him in April.
Vayhue: Prisoner 97V588 was convicted on Aug. 17, 1997, for the beating and attempted rape of a woman who tried to flee from the pampered NBA player's chauffered limousine. He was sentenced to 12 years, up for parole in five.
Score it: 3-2 and the win for Vayhue, who not only victimized the person he meant to victimize but after winning parole on his second try became a sort of "Scared Straight" model for young inmates. And then there's that unit . . .