Before GiveMeSport's trip to Los Angeles for the 2018 NBA All-Star Game, we considered running a profile piece on the whereabouts of former Clippers, Celtics and Timberwolves centre, Michael Olowokandi.
Since his playing career ended in 2007, Olowokandi had very much disappeared off the radar, and given his ties to Britain (raised in London, attended Brunel University) and Los Angeles, we thought it would be apt to see if we could find his whereabouts. Preliminary searches turned up little information, other than the fact he was living somewhere in California - with so little to go on, we postponed
We then walked right past his house and new business address while looking for something to eat, and didn't know this until returning back to the UK. Opportunity wasted.
Nevertheless, buoyed by the discovery, there follows a series of posts exploring the current whereabouts and career moves of former NBA players. A lot of "where are they now" posts spend too long looking backwards, and to overlong write-ups of the player's playing career. Here, we look only to what has come afterwards.
Tariq Abdul-Wahad – In retirement, Abdul-Wahad part-owns (or part-owned) Telesud, France's first black TV channel; part-owns (or part-owned) a Brazil-based clothing line, 610; is a partner in a hotel in Marrakech called Dar Sohane; and owns a California-based performance training company, Norcal Performance Training;. As for basketball, he runs an academy with his brother and used to be the head basketball coach at Lincoln high school in San Jose, but now, for whatever reason, he is the tennis coach there now instead.
Shareef Abdur-Rahim – To begin his retirement, Reef started out a coaching career with the last team he played for, the Sacramento Kings. After two seasons as an assistant coach, he was moved to the front office and became assistant general manager to Geoff Petrie. When Petrie was replaced by Pete D'Alessandro in the 2013 offseason, Abdur-Rahim got a different gig, becoming both the director of player personnel and the general manager of the Kings' D-League affiliate, the Reno Bighorns. Leaving without an announcement one season later, Abdur-Rahim is now an associate Vice President of Basketball with the league itself (i.e working in the operations department), having previously interned in the marketing department. He also went back to UC Berkeley to complete the sociology degree he had left unfinished 16 years previously, has tied on a Masters in business administration from USC, and co-founded Washington Alliance Capital, a real estate investment firm.
A.J. Abrams - The University of Texas legend is now a realtor.
Maurice Ager – Ager stopped playing abruptly in late 2010 at the age of only 26 in order to focus on a music career as a producer and occasional rapper. Along with samples of his work, his website includes the eye-opening statement that Ager 'collaborated with Dr. Dre in the studio where he offered great advice and guidance'. The "he" there could mean either of them. Here is an NBA themed tune of Ager's.
Blake Ahearn - D-League legend and one-time NBA player Ahearn is in his first year as the head coach of the D-League's Austin Spurs, after two years coaching at the high school level.
Ben Aird - After briefly trying to go to pro and immediately getting hurt, Utah Valley's Aird returned to his team to be an assistant coach for a season, and now works for a social media analytics company.
Akin Akingbala - The former Celtics big man retired last season and now works as a basketball skills trainer.
Courtney Alexander – Another whose career ended early, Alexander never played after a training camp audition with the Nuggets in 2006, cut for the last time aged 29. Little is known of his career in retirement, save for a now-dissolved not-for-profit organisation named Courtney Alexander's Press; however, in late December, it was reported that Alexander has become the head boys basketball coach and community relations strategist at Dominion Christian School in Marietta, Georgia. Seemingly, the playing comeback had until then been on.
Malik Allen - Allen is working as an assistant coach for the last coach he played for, Stan Van Gundy, at the Detroit Pistons.
Ray Allen - Allen is about to release a book, entitled “From the Outside: My Journey through Life and the Game I Love," to be released next week. The Boston Globe recently ran some excerpts, and Rajon Rondo was not happy.
Tavon Allen - After one brief part-season as a professional player, Allen is now a car dealer back in his home town.
Lance Allred - Allred, the first deaf player in NBA history and former Cleveland Cavalier, only recently retired from a long career around the globe. He now works as a motivational speak, and has released three books. He also wrote an interesting article for the Salt Lake Tribune about Mormonism and polygamy.
Morris Almond - Another early retiree, Almond retired in 2013 from a career spent largely in the D-League aged only 28. He then set up Almond Athletics, as well as the McEachern Basketball & Personal Development Program. It is unclear if either is still extant.
Rafer Alston - As further proof that Tom Thibodeau is extremely loyal to his point guards (having coached Alston in their shared days as members of the Houston Rockets), Alston was recently hired by the Minnesota Timberwolves as a scout. Previous to that, he had worked for one season as the head boys basketball coach at Humble Christian Life Center in Texas, leaving to have one more go at a playing career with the D-League's L.A. D-Fenders in 2012.
Antonio Anderson - Anderson, a recipient of five NBA contracts in his career even though he only appeared in one game, was enjoying a successful career in the D-League and on the cusp of the NBA that ended abruptly, beginning in 2011. Just before the start of the 2011/12 season, Anderson moved to Europe to sign with German team ratiopharm Ulm, but two weeks after signing he was admitted to hospital with a severe ocular inflammation in his eye. It was clearly quite a severe one - moved to the ratiopharm reserves, who play in a lower league, Anderson did nothing in four games, and ended up having eye surgery that summer. (Apparently they ended up cutting some eye muscles. Deliberately. Ugh.) A couple more comeback attempts, including pairing with his brother in the NBL Canada, were unsuccessful, and Anderson began to coach. He has now had four coaching gigs in four seasons - firstly a season as an assistant with Wheelock College, Boston (Division 3), then another season again as assistant at Salem State University in Salem, Massachusetts (also Division 3), then a third assistant season at Franklin Pierce University in Rindge, New Hampshire (Division 2), and now serving as head coach at Lynn English High School in Lynn, Massachusetts.
Derek Anderson – Anderson has released a book, and released a brand of bottled water. He runs the Stamina Foundation, which aims to teach life skills, and also runs the Derek Anderson Foundation, the focus of which is towards battered women and children.
Kenny Anderson – In retirement, Anderson has had a few coaching gigs. Most recently, he was coaching high school basketball at Posnack Jewish Day School in Florida, but left in 2013 after two seasons, and had also previously coached in the now-defunct CBA and a slamball team. [How much coaching do slamball teams need, by the way?] His story is a sad one.
Kevin Anderson - The Richmond grad just this past summer wrapped up a career that had dwindled due to injury, and became an assistant director of basketball operations at Campbell University.
Shandon Anderson – Anderson has had multiple business interests, including a salon and a spa. In 2010, he began three years of training as a chef, with a view to opening his own vegan/Thai restaurant, which he later did, establishing Drink Art Restaurant in Atlanta in 2014. It has however now closed down, barely lasting a year, and there is no information on him since.
Rafael Araujo – Former Raptors and Jazz big man Araujo has now retired once. He first retired in 2012, age 31, then played three more seasons in his native Brazil before retiring again in late 2014. He has since gone on to be the basketball director of the city of São Vicente, on the coast of São Paulo, and has founded the Babby Institute, a socio-sports project aimed at getting poor children into basketball.
Robert Archibald – Actual British basketball player and player for four different NBA teams Archibald retired from a good career in Spain's ACB in the summer of 2012, and has since moved into the insurance sector, working for State Farm.
Koko Archibong - Former Lakers and Clippers forward Archibong works in finance. Still in L.A., he is a client relationship associate for Capital Group, and runs his own basketball training service.
Gilbert Arenas - Out of the NBA aged only 30 despite how good he was at one point, Arenas played only one non-NBA season, appearing in 14 games for the Shanghai Sharks in 2013/13. Since then, he has not played. He invested in a mobile phone game, seemingly has a stake in a water company (Life Recovery Water), and now appears on Out of Bounds, a talk show chat show panel show type thing for Complex News.
Brandon Armstrong – Not to be confused with the other Brandon Armstrong - the former D-League player who made himself into a name with his impressions of NBA stars - the former New Jersey Nets guard cannot be traced since ending his playing career back in 2009.
Darrell Armstrong – Turning 50 this June, Armstrong has been an assistant coach with the Dallas Mavericks since January 2009.
Chucky Atkins – Atkins took up coaching upon retirement, initially volunteering at USF, then working with the NBA Player’s Association at high school camps. He later became head coach at his alma mater, Evans High School in Orlando, staying two seasons. He now coaches an AAU team, the Each 1 Teach 1 Rebels.
Stacey Augmon – After four seasons as an assistant with the Denver Nuggets, and five more with UNLV, Augmon is now into his second season as an assistant with the Milwaukee Bucks.
Mario Austin - After a playing career that involved stints in basically every country you can think of ended in late 2015, Austin - who was drafted by the Chicago Bulls yet never signed in the NBA - cannot be traced since.
Kelenna Azubuike - Unable to come back from a knee injury eight years ago that stopped a promising career dead, Azubuike is now a studio analyst for the Warriors, the team with whom he played all but three of his NBA games.