Troubled ex-NBA, ABA star found dead


marvin-barnesFormer ABA and NBA player Marvin Barnes, who led Providence College to the Final Four in 1973, has died at the age of 62, according to NBA.com.

The NBRPA (National Basketball Retired Players Association) has expressed its condolences regarding Barnes’ passing.

Barnes’ college teammate and a close friend told the Providence Journal that Barnes died at a home in Providence. The cause of death was not known, but Barnes had battled drug addiction for years.

By Barnes’ own admission, he started using drugs in his second season in the pros, and from then on his skills diminished and his life spiraled downward. Barnes even admitted snorting cocaine on the bench as a member of the Boston Celtics.

After leaving the game, he spent many years in bad shape, reportedly living in California, Texas and Virginia, sometimes homeless, sometimes in prison, according to NY Times.

Barnes was in trouble with the law several times over the years. He pleaded not guilty to the 2012 charge of indecent solicitation of a 17-year-old girl and was scheduled to go to trial on the charge in November.

Court spokeswoman Kara Picozzi said Barnes was due for a court hearing Monday morning and did not appear.

Barnes acknowledged in the past that he was addicted to cocaine and said he was trying to recover.

When sentenced in 1990 for stealing videotapes from a San Diego adult bookstore, Barnes’ former lawyer said the basketball star had been in five different drug treatment programs. He’d also been arrested for trespassing, being under the influence of narcotics and burglary of a locked vehicle.

”I went from the top to the bottom and I’ve seen everything in the middle,” Barnes said in a 1994 interview with The Associated Press. ”A couple of times, I thought I was going to die. I know God’s got plans for me because I’m not dead.”

Barnes also served as president of the nonprofit Rebound Foundation, which serves disadvantaged children.

An All-Star in ABA, Barnes averaged 24 and 24.1 ppg for the Spirits of St. Louis during the 1974-75, 1975-76 seasons. He also averaged 15.6 rpg in his rookie season.

Barnes then went on to play 4 more years in the NBA, before retiring. In the NBA he averaged 9.2 ppg, 5.5 rpg in 21.7 mpg. In total, Barnes played 315 games in the NBA and ABA, averaging 16.0 ppg, 9.1 rpg in 29.5 mpg.



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