5 NBA players who were arrested for serious crimes 

Few hoopers have occasionally made headlines for the wrong reasons, receiving criminal penalties or even jail time.

5 NBA players who were arrested for serious crimes 

The NBA is home to some of the best basketball players in the world. To say the least, athletes of the sport are generally always in the limelight and garner huge public attention. Over the years, quite a few NBA players have gotten arrested and some of them were involved in serious crimes. 

From Kobe Bryant to Jason Kidd, there have been legal charges placed on quite a handful of NBA personalities and some of them were even found guilty. Here’s a list of 5 NBA players who were arrested for criminal activities. 


Also Read: 10 Worst NBA Players of All-Time

#5 Kobe Bryant: Alleged Rape

Nba players who got arrested

In a fateful July of 2003, Lakers legend Kobe Bryant faced what could possibly be one of the most embarrassing allegations in the 20s. Bryant was alleged of the rape of a 19-year-old hotel employee at The Loge and Spa hotel where he was staying. 

Upon being charged with the criminal offense, Bryant yielded to having consensual sex with the woman and denied the accusation of rape. He was arrested and released after surrendering to the police on July 4, 2003. Not convicted, Bryant faced a legal lawsuit from the woman, which was settled off the court in the aftermath of the incident. Black Mamba officially apologized for his adulterous act in front of family, friends, and the media in a press conference following the lawsuit.


#4 Rubben Patterson: Sexual Offence, Domestic Violence 

Nba players who got arrested

Rubben Patterson was one notorious personality off the court and has been arrested over a dozen times. The small forward was first convicted of sexual abuse on his child’s caretaker back in 2000. Since then, he has had to register himself as a sex offender time and again. 

He was again arrested in 2002 on charges of domestic abuse, although it was later dropped as he and his wife got divorced. Since then, Patterson has offended the law on a handful of occasions and has got himself arrested half the time.

#3 Charles Smith: Hit and Run

Nba players who were arrested

On March 12, 1991, Boston Celtics point guard Charles Smith was involved in a tragic hit-and-run case. The incident cost the lives of two Boston University students. Smith had been driving under the influence of alcohol when he ran over the college students while returning home. The point guard chose to leave the crime scene, eventually resulting in two deaths.


Smith was then convicted and arrested for vehicular homicide and sentenced to prison for four and a half years. However, he only faced 28 months of jail time in one of the lesser-known criminal incidents in the NBA.

#2 Javaris Crittenton: Involuntary Manslaughter 

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Javaris Crittenton has been one controversial figure throughout his short stint in the NBA. From 2007 to 2009, Crittenton played for the LA Lakers, Washington Wizards, and the Memphis Grizzlies. However, it was in 2011 that he was accused of the murder of a 22-year-old woman and sentenced to prison until 2036.

Crittenton had also previously been charged and suspended from the NBA for illegal arms possession. He was involved in a heated-up gun showdown with fellow teammate Gilbert Arenas in the locker room. In a league where arms possession is a serious offense, the fact that Crittenton actually pointed a loaded gun at a fellow teammate is definitely not commendable. 


#1 Eddie Johnson: Drug Possession, Sexual Battery on a Minor

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Eddie Johnson may have been a sensational player back in his day, but his notorious history with drug abuse really made things shady for the shooting guard. Having been found guilty of cocaine abuse on multiple occasions throughout his career, Fast Eddie was suspended from the league for good in 1987. 

However, it was not just these offenses that got him behind the bars for a life sentence. After the end of his NBA career, Johnson’s criminal activities only escalated, and he was arrested over 100 times. In 2008, Eddie Johnson was arrested and convicted of sexual abuse of an eight-year-old. He was given a life sentence and died on October 26, 2020, while serving prison time. 

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