Adrian Dantley is among the three best basketball players (along with Elgin Baylor and Dave Bing) ever produced by Washington, D.C., and the best high school player our area has seen in the past 50 years. As a pro, Dantley average 24.4 points per game over a 15 year career. He stands 25th on the NBA’s all-time points scored list.
Dantley scored most of his field goals from the low post. He accomplished this despite standing 6’5 and weighing 208 pounds. Charles Barkley (21st on the all-time list) scored a few hundred more points as a low post player at about the same height. But he weighed 252 pounds.
When last I heard of Dantley, he was the interim head coach of the Denver Nuggets, standing in for George Karl. But now comes word that he’s out of basketball and working as a crossing guard in Silver Spring, Maryland for $14,000 a year.
But this isn’t the story of a financially ruined athlete. Nor, from what appears, did Dantley take the job for the health insurance, as has been suggested.
According to the Washington Post, Dantley is still wealthy. He took the job to fill his time and to help kids.
Dantley says that during his seven months as a crossing guard he has saved two lives and twice nearly been hit by a car. It seems that in the age of cell phones and texting, a crossing guard’s lot is not an easy one. Dantley reports that 70 percent of the passing cars are “on their telephone or on their Blackberry.”
As a fellow pensioner, I can appreciate AD’s desire to find a worthwhile activity with which to help fill his day. For me, blogging serves that function. It saves no lives, but the work is less dangerous.