FanDuel - WFBC

August 16, 2006

Lonnie, we thought we knew ye: His breadth and his touch were enough for Lonnie Baxter to shoulder Maryland to an NCAA championship, but his lack of height turned his NBA career to an unsurprising bust. His getting busted this morning on weapons charges is a bit more of a surprise.

posted by Hugh Janus to basketball at 10:49 AM - 27 comments

Sort of a shame- I've loathed a lot of Maryland players (and just mocked a lot more), but he and Juan Dixon seemed like good, solid kids who played hard and well. Hope this works out for him, and that is isn't the start of a Clarett-like spiral.

posted by tieguy at 11:24 AM on August 16

They weren't just "weapons charges", like Sebastian Telfair forgetting about the gat in his carry-on bag. Baxter was arrested for perpetrating a drive-by...two blocks from the White House. There were spent shell casings in the vehicle. Paging Lee Boyd Malvo, please clear off the top bunk to make space for your new roommate.

posted by Venicemenace at 12:03 PM on August 16

Yeah, tieguy, Lonnie always seemed like a sweetheart in interviews and articles. Sure, he said "you know" way too much, but who knows? Maybe the pressure of being undersized for the pros led him to some bad choices. For his sake, I hope he wasn't into something really terrible here; plenty of ballplayers end up hanging with the wrong sort (witness Alonzo Mourning and Rayful Edmonds). I hope he hasn't become some jumped-up thug, and I hope he gets the chance to go play in Italy, where a fellow with his size and hands might excel. That's a lotta hope, but I've put a lotta hope in Lonnie Baxter before, and he didn't disappoint. On preview, have you read updates I haven't, Venicemenace? In the articles I read, the cops say they have no idea why the shots were fired, or at whom. And Lee Boyd Malvo? You must know something I don't. Lonnie's a serial killer? Wow.

posted by Hugh Janus at 12:13 PM on August 16

You missed that update, HJ? Lonnie Baxter was on a crazed spree, picking off the Department of Health and Human Services one by one! No, I was just exaggerating beyond all realms of propriety. Still, shots fired in the federal realm of DC is pretty serious business. But hey, you COULD make the argument that LBM's troubles stemmed from "hanging with the wrong sort", too. The really, really, really wrong sort.

posted by Venicemenace at 12:24 PM on August 16

17th and I is on the other side of Lafayette Park, plus one block of buildings, from the White House. I'm not saying folks should be discharging firearms just anywhere, but that area's in downtown, not on the Mall. DC's so small that loads of crime occurs within, say, a half-mile radius from the White House. Newspapers and politicians love this. It has no bearing on Lonnie Baxter. But it does give a false sense of urgency to any crime in central DC. (give it a mile radius and I think you start hitting Anacostia -- some wild shit happens "near the White House").

posted by Hugh Janus at 01:06 PM on August 16

"Maybe the pressure of being undersized for the pros led him to some bad choices." Naw, hell, everyone knows what a great stress reliever it is to pop a few caps a coupla blocks from the friggin White House, post 9/11. I'm sure that Spud Webb, Mugsy Bogues, Monty Towe and others did the same exact thing...

posted by mjkredliner at 01:07 PM on August 16

seems like Lonny Baxter is afflicted with that disease that is spreading across the nation.I don't think they have an official name for it.I propose it should have a proper name:Clarett's Syndrome.

posted by mars1 at 01:07 PM on August 16

In a more sports-related vein, does the washout of a player like Baxter indicate that pro teams are smarter to draft young 7-foot projects over undersized players who have proven their ability on the college level?

posted by Venicemenace at 01:08 PM on August 16

Are you suggesting that 7-foot projects do not washout? Let's also keep in mind that arrrest does not equal conviction. And, "the police report says" does not equal fact.

posted by bperk at 01:16 PM on August 16

Are you suggesting that 7-foot projects do not washout? Why would I even ask the question if that was the case? And while it's true that I may have given L Baxter a bum rap on this charge, he is 100% guilty of the crime of having played for Maryland.

posted by Venicemenace at 01:19 PM on August 16

I think you're right, Venicemenace, that skilled undersized players have a much greater struggle (at size positions) than do big galoots who haven't learned to shoot yet. That's why I see promise when a guy like LB goes over to Italy, where a guy of his size can thrive. There's a big difference between an undersized center/power forward and an undersized guard.

posted by Hugh Janus at 01:30 PM on August 16

I think of it has a lot to do with work ethic...an undersized big man can stick in the league by working hard to grab rebounds and make hustle plays, but a player with physical gifts may never develop them if he approaches the game with the wrong attitude. Ryan Gomes was terrific in Boston last season after Doc Rivers was basically forced to play him due to injury. On the other coast, I watched Kwame Brown mope around the court the entire Laker season, still a disappointment to himself, Michael Jordan, Mitch Kupchak...well, don't get me started on Mitch Kupchak. It's tough for me to say if attitude or work ethic had anything to do with Baxter's failure to stick in the pros. If it's true that he was spraying lead within sight of the Old EOB, then my guess would be yes.

posted by Venicemenace at 01:38 PM on August 16

Alright, so Lonny Baxter decided to live out his GTA dreams and buck off a couple of rounds. Does that make him a bad person.....umm, ok, let me rephrase that. WHAT THE HELL WAS HE THINKING? I mean, any player in the NBA is making a hell of a lot more loot than some thug on the block but hey, if that's what he wants to do, so be it. Dude couldn't shoot straight in the NBA so most civilians or enemies that he may have do not need to worry about LB shooting them. Sorry, I couldn't let it go. Too easy

posted by BornIcon at 01:55 PM on August 16

It's unfortunate to see a guy who obviously worked hard in college, who reportedly was an inspiration to his teammates for his work ethic in shaping up over the years as a Terp, having such growing pains as a professional. As a Terps fan, I have the shining example of Sarunas Jasikevicius to show how valuable time in Europe can be... who knows? With shoulders (and layups) like he has, Lonnie oughtta be like Karl Malone over there. (I'm doubtless giving short shrift to the level of competition there; LB always seemed to me about three inches too short). Maybe it's all just a matter of guidance, and Gary Williams just did a helluva job keeping him out of trouble and in the game. It sucks to see guys do this shit to themselves.

posted by Hugh Janus at 01:59 PM on August 16

Venicemenace: Lonnie's no Allen Iverson, huh? ;) Sorry, I don't react well to hatin' on my Terps. Especially from Hoya fans.* I will wait to see what comes of this before judging a player I used to love watch playing. * just joshin' you, venicemenace. Don't be bustin' out the guidelines just yet.

posted by scully at 02:09 PM on August 16

Haha Terrapin, you've rooted out the source of my Twerp dislike. Hands off the top DC recruits, Gary Williams! No worries on the guidelines, I think I've already run afoul of them by comparing a misguided, possibly criminal athlete to the DC Snipers.

posted by Venicemenace at 02:14 PM on August 16

Sorry 'bout that hugh.

posted by justgary at 03:02 PM on August 16

It's just as well.

posted by Hugh Janus at 03:03 PM on August 16

How embarassing for Baxter. He though he was all hard. Now's he's just a played out number. I hope they lock him and his pal up for long time. Dangers to society belong on the sidelines in a cell. He can be a star at rec time.

posted by T$PORT4lawschool at 03:08 PM on August 16

Are you really in law school?

posted by Hugh Janus at 03:28 PM on August 16

He sounds like a promising young prosecutor to me, lol.

posted by mjkredliner at 04:03 PM on August 16

Hugh: I'm wondering the same thing (as I plow through my readings for day #2 myself...)

posted by tieguy at 04:03 PM on August 16

How embarassing for Baxter. He though he was all hard. Now's he's just a played out number. I hope they lock him and his pal up for long time. Dangers to society belong on the sidelines in a cell. He can be a star at rec time. Your comments often embarass this site.

posted by Bishop at 04:14 AM on August 17

Actually, I doubt he is in law school, and if he is, he must not be doing very good, since one of the first things you're taught in any law school is that you have to suffer through a preponderance of the evidence before you can even assume to know what's going on in a case. Any case. The knee-jerk statements that T$PORT makes are anathema to any reasonable practice of law.

posted by The_Black_Hand at 05:04 AM on August 17

Dangers to society belong on the sidelines in a cell. That would be interesting, building prison cells along the sidelines for stadiums. Thought it doesn't seem fair that the hardened criminals get better seats for the Super Bowl than I could possibly acquire...

posted by grum@work at 11:22 AM on August 17

me: "I waited in line for seven weeks for front-row tickets to Duke-Carolina." criminal: "Bah. I got sentenced to thirty years for front row seats at the Super Bowl. Take that, pretty boy."

posted by tieguy at 12:50 PM on August 17

me: "I waited in line for seven weeks for front-row tickets to Duke-Carolina." criminal: "Bah. I got sentenced to thirty years for front row seats at the Super Bowl. Take that, pretty boy." criminal: "And I want to emphasize pretty boy"

posted by Bishop at 02:29 AM on August 18

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