Robert Swift Apparently Done With Basketball
This year, Swift couldn't find an NBA job and made his way to his hometown Bakersfield Jam of the D-League. The Jam, of course, have their own vaguely neocolonial issues, but apparently the basketball wasn't working out for Swift there. After two games, Swift abandoned the Jam. His coach, Will Voigt, thinks Swift might be done with the sport forever.
On the one hand, Swift is only 24 years old. Being seven feet tall remains the easiest path to NBA or European league employment. On top of that, Swift has decent skills -- he's not Vlade II, but he can move a bit and pass, and I've seen him nail an elbow jumper. Swift can play basketball, and I dare say basketball could still give him a decent living.
But it's hard not to feel for Swift, who has effectively been chewed up and spit out by the sport. What complicity he holds in the matter is beside the point -- there is heavy evidence that his pro team, the Sonics, didn't give him the support he needed as a 19-year-old pro. While recovering from a torn ACL, he put on tons of upper body muscle ... all while Clay Bennett ripped apart the team's management structure and essentially left a 20-year-old Swift with no coach of any sort.
Without knowing the specifics of Swift's Bakersfield abandonment -- remember how weird the fan situation is there, with essentially a country club setting of a 550-seat arena with cigar rooms and fine dining -- you could surmise Swift is sick of playing the games (basketball and the politics behind it) and wants to start over. He's made more than $11 million at this point. Assuming he saved some of it, he could very well stay on his feet well outside the spotlight. I, for one, am rooting for him, even if I wish he'd give basketball another spirited shot.