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When critics go out of bounds
Calling foul on those who said the NBA would increase crime

By Darnell Mayberry Modified: March 10, 2008 at 12:20 am •  Published: March 10, 2008

/> Good luck with that one.

What about Chris Paul screamed thug? His Hornets teammate, Tyson Chandler, unlike the clean-cut, tattoo-less Paul, showed up in Year 2 with a Mohawk and a body covered with ink. And still, Chandler was every bit the gentleman Paul was. Married and a proud father, too, for what it's worth.

The NBA obligates players to make 12 appearances during the season and fines no-shows $20,000. Some players do the bare minimum. Many go the extra mile.

There are roughly 450 NBA players, and to label the entire league thugs, hoodlums or egomaniacs is unfair and ill-advised.

For every Stephen Jackson and Jamaal Tinsley — players who've recently made headlines for incidents in which they were forced to protect themselves with guns — there are NBA locker rooms filled with players who mirror Paul and Chandler. Players that make hospital visits, reach out to the homeless, build basketball courts and make the day of unsuspecting elementary school children.

Unfortunately, isolated shootings make for better headlines than story time.