Chris Gatling: The Most Interesting Player in NBA History

NBA players can make a name for themselves in a variety of ways. Some are just significantly better than their peers, others are freak athletes, and others still have niche skills that they hone and consistently use to help a team.

Then there happens to be an entirely separate category for players that are incredibly strange or unique for a variety of reasons. Whether those reasons be intentional or not.

Though someone like Dennis Rodman for example was well-known for his peculiar off-court [and on-court] antics, he was also a cerebral defender and arguably the greatest rebounder in NBA history. As much as he tried, and he definitely did, Rodman will likely be remembered for his on-court play as much as his consistently odd behavior.

Sometimes though, the NBA is graced with the presence of a player who is not particularly a stand-out athlete or talent but finds other ways to be remembered. Sometimes, a player need not be the best, or even particularly great for most of their career to leave an indelible mark on our beloved league.

Here is just one example of such a case.

Former NBA player, Chris Gatling (no relation to the Gatling gun), just missed the honor of being a lottery pick as he was drafted by the Golden State Warriors with the 16th pick in the first round of the 1991 NBA Draft, eight spots ahead of the legendary Rick Fox, and played in the NBA until 2002.

Before the NBA, Chris played for Old Dominion University where he was the all-time field goal percentage leader.

After four years with the Golden State Warriors, he was then traded to the Miami Heat. This would be the first of 8 times that Gatling would be traded, more than any other NBA player in history.

He would go on to play for the Mavs, Nets, Bucks, Magic, Nuggets, Cavs, before ultimate ending his career with the Heat.

Chris Gatling led the season in NBA in field goal percentage in the 1994-95 season, which still currently ranks in the top 30 NBA seasons of all-time. Gatling was also a one time NBA All-Star in the 1997 after a career year where he averaged 19.0 points per game, 7.9 rebounds per game, and 0.6 assists per game.

Though one will be hard-pressed to find any dazzling highlights of Chris Gatling in action, however he can be seen in this infamous clip not only getting completely posterized by Shawn Kemp, but actually shaking his hand afterwards.

In 2015, Gatling was arrested for fraud, aggravated identity theft and forgery. One of the victims alleged that she was swindled out of $90k and that Gatling was the ringleader of the operation. He was ultimately sentenced to 2.5 years in prison after pleading guilty to reduced charges.

In 2013, he was accused of the peculiar crime of squatting in a home and then putting the home up for rent.

And therein lies the brief story of potentially the most interesting player in NBA history. Disagree? Who has a more interesting backstory?

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One thought on “Chris Gatling: The Most Interesting Player in NBA History

  1. This is my cousin, he is one of my grandmothers first cousins. My grandmother was Margaret Gatling. If anyone has any contact information please tell him I would love to meet him.

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