The Ghost of Robert Swift

Robert Swift was paid a lot of money for a few years of nondescript basketball. And now he's all the way gone.
Share |

Robert Swift entered the NBA mostly unknown and undefined, and left the NBA not very long after in more or less the same state. During his brief NBA career, Swift was opaque in the way of teenagers and teenage prodigies, but was also never notable or popular enough, or skilled or charismatic enough, to demand attention or to warrant endorsement deals or -- even for the most dedicated basketball pundits -- serious consideration. He was tall and lean and young and had potential, but that type of person and player is a recognizable NBA type. Swift was a rare specimen among humanity, but not all that unique among his cohort.

The Seattle SuperSonics made him a lottery pick in the 2004 NBA Draft. There were basketball reasons why the 7-foot teenager from Bakersfield, California might not have -- and in fact did not -- work out. But there were some non-scientific, non-basketball reasons for this, too. Young players can be too raw or slow or stiff or distractible; many are. Robert Swift, for some of these reasons and some others, always felt more doomed than that.

You can see it in his rookie picture. It starts with his eyes; they’re small, glassy, green fireballs, both sad and flat. The skin above his eyelids is swollen and puffy, his eyebrows are a raised arch of thin, wispy red. He’s looking down, away from you and the camera and everything else. His brandy-colored hair is shaved down to the scalp and his papery skin glows against an equally lifeless grey background. His lips are pursed and you can tell he’s trying, as if for the first time, to lift the corners of his mouth. It looks forced and uncomfortable; the smile just isn’t there.

Swift was 18 years old in that picture. It sure looks like he knows what’s coming, and maybe he does. But of course it would look like that to us now, because we know where things went for him from there.


Swift’s high school coach will tell you that photo never should have happened, or at least not at that moment in Robert Swift’s life. It was too soon. He was a seven-foot teenager, body long and thin; the statistical record does not support this, but people whose jobs depend on this sort of judgment believed Swift was talented enough to be a star. At the time, though, he was what teenagers often are: awkward, introverted, and confused. What potential there was, and it was there, was buried below a roiling and inhospitable surface.

Maybe Swift didn’t want to be a basketball player. Or maybe, after a few years of college ball and emotional and physical growth, all that potential and latent ability, would be realized and made more accessible to him and his future employers. It’s hard to say, and Swift himself couldn’t say, even if he wanted to talk about it, which he doesn’t. He had scholarship offers, from schools that might have strengthened his understanding of everything about basketball and everything away from it. He also had the promise of guaranteed, life-changing millions.

Swift played an even 1,500 minutes over four NBA seasons, and was paid more than $11 million for his efforts. In that sense, and retrospectively only in that sense, he made the right choice.

The 2004 NBA Draft had its share of blunders but it still produced five individual All-Stars, a multiple Defensive Player of the Year award winner, and the first rookie in NBA history to be named Sixth Man of the Year in his rookie season. Dwight Howard, the first player picked, is probably a Hall of Famer. After the draft, 15 of the rookies gathered on stage for a photo. Swift, who went 12th overall that night to Seattle, wasn’t there to commemorate that moment. He didn’t need to be. The men that posed in that picture are still in the league, many still ascending to the peak of their careers. Swift hasn’t held a job in the NBA for three seasons.

His rookie salary was around $2 million dollars per year. In his first season, he hardly played. The next year, the team drafted another center named Johan Petro. He was just as long, just as skinny, just as full of potential. That word again.

It was in 2006 when Swift got a chance to prove his worth, and he did it fairly well. After averaging six points and six rebounds in 20 minutes per game in the previous season, he was slotted in as the team’s starting center the following year. He showed up to training camp early and in shape. He played in the summer league, although it was his third season by that point, and he didn’t need to be there. He showed up with the longshots and the newcomers and the no-hopers and caught the ball on the low-block, where he used his frame, now packed with 30 more pounds of muscle and a whirl of tattoos, to clear space. His hair, once military short, now curled and spilled down to his shoulders. This was going to be his season.

What ended it was a preseason injury. In an exhibition game against the Sacramento Kings, Swift lunged out of bounds to keep a ball in play. Then there was a pop, a rupture, a torn ACL, and an entire season lost. He laid on the floor, clutching his right knee. His fingernails, now painted black, curled into his palms. He punched the floor and then there was nothing left.

He’d made around nine million dollars by this point, which is a lot of money for anyone and maybe too much for someone searching, as all people his age are, for an identity, both on the court and beyond it. During his rehabilitation, the Seattle franchise made its way out of town. They’d been sold to an investment group, headed up by Oklahoma City petro-businessman Clay Bennett.

Bennett lobbied to relocate the team to Oklahoma and in the process he dismantled the team’s management structure. That kid with the bad knee, the one who was always around the training facility, he was left with no coach, no mentor, no internal supporters. The patience the franchise had once shown had dried up, the potential had been forgotten. Swift would play one more short season with Oklahoma City, appearing in 26 games, before limping out of the league. It barely registered.


He didn’t give up, though. Not entirely, and not initially. He tried to get back into the league through the NBDL. He went home and played for the Bakersfield Jam, but that lasted only two games. He left the team, citing personal reasons, which is just what it sounds like, and as opaque as it sounds. It doesn’t offer much explanation, but Will Voigt, then the Jam’s coach, said he thought Swift was done with basketball forever.

He wasn’t. He tried his hand overseas, playing in Tokyo, where his former coach in Seattle, Bob Hill, tried to get him back in NBA shape. He lasted less than a season, and then that was it, really it this time. He was now 25 years old, had made more than $11 million dollars and had nowhere left to go.

Back in Seattle, back to where all of this had started, there wasn’t an NBA team anymore. Bennett had gotten his wish and the Seattle SuperSonics had become the Oklahoma City Thunder. Swift still had his home in the city, though, and that’s where he went. It was large and impressive, but far from opulent and sat on a quiet side street. Less than a year later, that would be gone, too. The banks came calling: his property had been foreclosed and was later revealed to have been disturbingly, stunningly neglected.

There’s a local news segment on it, which is alternately nauseating and heartrending. Empty beer cans littered the lawn, a bullet hole had pierced the garage window, four cars sat in the driveway, some rusted out but each worn and unmoveable. The couple that bought the house in foreclosure found a reeking sink with ancient vomit in it, covered by a towel. In the basement, Swift had set up a sort of improvised shooting range, and had been pumping bullets from an automatic weapon into the foundation of his own home.

Swift stayed inside, refused to leave. Then, years after he was last deemed worthy of attention, came the headlines. Reporters showed up, their cameras on their shoulders, eyes peering into the windows, fists hammering on the doors. They needed to know: what and why and how, how had it come to this. Swift wasn’t just a cautionary tale anymore, he wasn’t just a disappointment, he was everything that everyone else didn’t want him to be. He was a mess, clearly, and he was lost. He was still an enigma, but the stakes seemed notably higher than they had in those first days, when he was just another rookie filled with potential.

Maybe it had always been this way. He’d been told what he could be, what he should be, but never quite seemed to become what he was, or might have been. The last reports of Swift’s whereabouts speculated he was sleeping on a friend’s couch, somewhere in Seattle. He’s 27 now, and his former life, everything he had been trained to do, everything he was supposed to accomplish, seems well and truly gone.


In the first draft of this story, I didn’t use Robert Swift’s name. My editor changed that because it was confusing, but the facts of Swift’s story don’t strictly require that you know his name or remember him as a player. You’ve heard his story before, because it’s familiar. Swift, like many of his peers, made a lot of money and lost nearly all of it, and is now someone to puzzle over or mourn or judge harshly for his failures, secure in the sense that neither you nor I nor anybody else would ever make those mistakes. But, of course, we can never know that.

Robert Swift probably won’t be a basketball player again, and maybe that’s all right. We will likely not hear his name again anytime soon, and maybe that’s all right, too. He deserves privacy like anyone else; he deserves to be happy in his work and as himself, like everyone else. It’s natural to worry about him, given how he was living and how fast and how far he fell. His life, from now on, is his own business.

It’s comforting, in a way, to imagine him somewhere quiet, playing the game. Just him and a ball and a hoop and the sound of leather falling through mesh, chasing it down and getting it back and doing it again, for himself. Or maybe he’s somewhere else. Wherever he is, he’s out there alone, as much as he ever was.

Share |


This is a wonderful article, Given so much info in it, These type of articles keeps the users interest in the website, and keep on sharing more ... good luck. mr bean game

Many thanks for the exciting blog posting! Simply put your blog post to my favorite blog list and will look forward for additional updates. Simply wanted to write down a word in order to say thanks to you for those wonderful tips. build my list

Rev Share Education Lesson 2:

The life and death of any rev share in retrospect.

Lets look at contributing factors to why rev shares fail and ways to eliminate those with strategy and logic.Easy Money

Problem 1: Patience
Now you can do very very well in revenue sharing but this requires patience this is not a HYIP ( high yield income program ). In revenue sharing you need 2 things start money and patience. Now if you have lots of patience you do not need as much start money. If you do not you want to take the bigger buy in route. You absolutely need to have the expectation if this is your first rev share to build your internal wealth for awhile its silly to work the system any other way. Why try to use the system for the opposite of what its designed to do its designed to build wealth fairly quickly yes if you 100 % repurchase for awhile. The system does not grow if people do not repurchase regularly, We will include auto repurchase but for now we have to deal its not part of the script functionality yet. We will get it in the script though.

Problem 2: Slow Growth
Again this is exactly what it sounds like .. money is stale in the system and not being moved .. money has to move all the time. With the exception of your cash holding for withdraw. Please log in as often as possible to repurchase new shares with your repurchase balance this is crucial to the success of daps i cant stress that enough.

Problem 3: Lack of member information
The biggest problem i see in rev share on most sites is the lack of community there absolutely has to be a community of living breathing Rev share members just like you telling other people the ins and outs of revenue sharing. The best thing you can do for yourself to be successfull in rev share is introduce people to the right rev shares. Be sure its solid one your bringing your referrals into reputation is very important in this business if you want to make money simply talking about revenue sharing. Yes I willl be the first one to tell you the break in can be tough but when you get a couple accounts on a couple different sites paying you believe me it all comes together fast. If you bring someone into rev share make sure they can get the information they need ! Tell them where it is or point them to someone who can THIS IS SOOOOO Important.

hampton bay lighting fans Really nice and interesting post. I was looking for this kind of information and enjoyed reading this one.

Lesson 3: How To Build A Strong Revenue Share.

DEFINITION of 'Compound Interest'
Interest calculated on the initial principal and also on the accumulated interest of previous periods of a deposit or loan. Compound interest can be thought of as “interest on interest,” and will make a deposit or loan grow at a faster rate than simple interest, which is interest calculated only on the principal amount. The rate at which compound interest accrues depends on the frequency of compounding; the higher the number of compounding periods, the greater the compound interest. Thus, the amount of compound interest accrued on $100 compounded at 10% annually will be lower than that on $100 compounded at 5% semi-annually over the same time period. Compound interest is also known as compounding.

Now this works exactly like it sounds it does. To use Compound Interest in relation to revenue sharing is simple 100 % REPURCHASE for as long as possible, Yes its that easy the system is set up for you just buy as often as you can with as much as you have and you will make money.

Now i would like to discuss way's to help you build your referral chains to help you with your commissions. We will discuss Key forms of advertising and how to effectively use them to increase your wealth.

#1. Facebook Group Posting.Passive Income
This is one of the best free methods to get active referrals. There is no science to this its simple join 25 advertising groups on Facebook every day, Create a text add with a picture ( You can all this from the files section of group ), Add your referral link to the end of the add, then copy and paste till your hands hurt. Answer anyone who likes or comments on your links. ( alternatively you can use an auto poster which will make your life easier but costs money )

#2. Other Revenue Share Sites.
The second best area to get active referrals is other revenue sharing sites where people are already familiar with the plat form. This is also easy you can use your banner credits to put up adds as well as using some of your profits to buy ad space.

#3. PTC PPC PTSU ( Pay to click, Pay per click, Pay to sign up )
These are not a bad alternative and usually lead to quick sign ups, however only about 30 % of them ever end up being active. These sites are often expensive and not as effective as some of the other methods but still not a horrible idea. Pay to sign up is often a waist of time entirely as the people just want the money there getting to sign up.

#4. Other Social Media Platforms .
If you have any of these social media platforms you could be using them to get referrals, Pinterest , Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram ANYTHING like this can be used to advertise your referral link.

#5. Create your own Landing page, Advertise your sites all at once.
Why advertise one link when you can advertise all your programs at once tongue emotico all the pros are doing this.

Really nice and interesting post. I was looking for this kind of information and enjoyed reading this one. chota bheem

Excellent read, Positive site, where did u come up with the information on this posting?I have read a few of the articles on your website now, and I really like your style. Thanks a million and please keep up the effective work. temple run 3

I was very impressed by this post, this site has always been pleasant news Thank you very much for such an interesting post, and I meet them more often then I visited this site. hampton bay ceiling fan

Great post full of useful tips! My site is fairly new and I am also having a hard time getting my readers to leave comment Free PDF Ebooks

Your blogs further more each else volume is so entertaining further serviceable It appoints me befall retreat encore. I will instantly grab your rss feed to stay informed of any wood window brick mold

Incredible posting this is from you. I am really and truly thrilled to read this marvelous post. You've really impressed me today. I hope you'll continue to do so! vacate cleaning melbourne

Incredible posting this is from you. I am really and truly thrilled to read this marvelous post. You've really impressed me today. I hope you'll continue to do so! office cleaning richmond

All of us value a bit of the actual those which reveal data along with Pinups radiate Sapling Condition and so on just about all. Personally very impacted along with this particular information web site...

more hints

This is such a great post, and was thinking much the same myself. Another great update.
Buy Adderall 30mg

I've recently chosen to make a site, which I have been needing to accomplish for some time. A debt of gratitude is in order regarding this post, its truly valuable!
Marketing1on1 online marketing agency

Searching out for this kind of post for past a week and hardly came across this. Thank you very much and will look for more postings from you.. camera phone pole

You can make the most out of your science project by being systematic in the method you use to carry out your experiment...viagra

I’d need to check with you here. Which is not something I normally do? I enjoy reading a submit that can make individuals think. Also, thanks for permitting me to remark!online degree programs texas

Thank you for the sensible critique. Me & my neighbour were preparing to do some research about that. We got a good book on that matter from our local library and most books where not as influensive as your information life

I just got to this amazing site not long ago. I was actually captured with the piece of resources you have got here. Big thumbs up for making such wonderful blog pagemore

Such a very useful article. Very interesting to read this article.I would like to thank you for the efforts you had made for writing this awesome article....solicitor family law

Well, very good post with informative information. I really appreciate the fact that you approach these topics from a stand point of knowledge and information. This is the first time, I visited at your site and became your fan. You are bookmarked. Please keep on posting.
Buy Hydrocodone online

Your good knowledge and kindness in playing with all the pieces was very useful. voyance gratuite telephone I don’t know what I would have done if I had not encountered such a step like this

Choosing the right treatment center will significantly aid you in sobriety. There are thousands of great facilities that are well equipped to handle drug and alcohol rehabilitation, but the right facility requires patience and persistence to find. We have compiled one of the largest and most comprehensive lists of rehab’s from around the country drug rehab centers

Such a very useful article. Very interesting to read this article.I would like to thank you for the efforts you had made for writing this awesome article. unlocking phone service

die verzameling opeenvolgende activiteiten die geen of de minste speling heeft. Dit pad heet het kritieke pad omdat een vertraging Ebooks Library

Hello! I just wish to give an enormous thumbs up for the nice info you've got right here on this post. amazing selling machine I will probably be coming back to your weblog for more soon is a leading source for finding business opportunities for sale—along with a number of other exciting work-at-home . Make money station

Really nice and interesting post. I was looking for this kind of information and enjoyed reading this one. merchant account

Really impressed! Everything is very open and very clear clarification of issues. It contains truly facts. Your website is very valuable. Thanks for sharing. It's late finding this act. At least, it's a thing to be familiar with that there are such events exist.amazing selling machine I agree with your Blog and I will be back to inspect it more in the future so please keep up your act.

I like this post,And I guess that they having fun to read this post,they shall take a good site to make a information,thanks for sharing it to me.Free PDF Library

I came onto your blog while focusing just slightly submits. Nice strategy for next, I will be bookmarking at once seize your complete rises...

wow this saintly however ,I love your enter plus nice pics might be part personss negative love being defrent mind total poeple ,
xtreme muscle pro reviews is a leading source for finding business opportunities for sale—along with a number of other exciting work-at-home and other small business-model options like distributorships, licensee opportunities and small franchises—any one of which may be specific to your needs. Our team is dedicated to helping you realize your financial goals by providing you access to the perfect business opportunity, one that is just right for you! Internet Business

player is a recognizable NBA type. Swift was a rare specimen among humanity, but not all that unique among his cohort. take a look here

In this post, we will explain the potentially harmful results of adverse media and how reverse SEO can help you handle your organization's advertising on the internet.Free Ebooks Directory

Its as if you had a fantastic scope on the submissive trouble, however you forgot to embody your lecturers. Perhaps you should assume about this from another than sole position. cheap sunglasses wholesale

We are always laughing and giving each other a hard time. We work in a big open office, which can be distracting, but lots of fun. It is very rewarding working in an office that is so wordpress themes

Hello, an amazing article dude. Thanks But Were issues in your rss . Dont know why Unable to subscribe to it. Could there be others having similar RSS trouble? Anybody nobody can assist please reply. Thnx!
Buy Adderall online

Indeed unit josh momentary on by coincidental suffocating is an immoderate aggregate of besides something that no attendant or watchman can always totally remit themselves for. Cheap e liquid

Ixperia IT Schulung und Beratung An 18 Standorten in Deutschland bieten wir anspruchsvollen Führungskräften und Mitarbeitern erfolgreich Seminare zu den Themen IT Service Management, ITIL, Projektmanagement und Prince2 in exzellenter Atmosphäre. Sowohl fachlich als auch für die Durchführung erhalten wir von unseren Teilnehmern dafür die besten Beurteilungen mit 100% Erfolgsgarantie. ITIL Zertifizierung

What a great blog, thank you for letting me comment on it.
pathology lab in pune

I've just decided to create a blog, which I have been wanting to do for a while. Thanks for this post, it's really useful!

Free Merchant Accounts Such a truly beneficial column. Really fascinating to predict this item.I would want to acknowledge you for the undertakings you had made for essay this tremendous piece

Great post full of useful tips! My site is fairly new and I am also having a hard time getting my readers to leave comments. Analytics shows they are coming to the site but I have a feeling “nobody wants to be first”.

For many people this is important, so check out my profile:
chicago airport parking rates

Your article has proved your hard work and experience you have got in this field. Brilliant .i love it reading. laptop and mounting solutions

Always so interesting to visit your site.What a great info, thank you for sharing. this will help me so much in my learning...

Awesome courier i want remark further acknowledges for the info. Erudition is definitely a adhesive topic. Nevertheless, is however between the initial texts of our stretch. I enjoy your announce besides ogle advance to also bet365 offers

Thanks for providing recent updates regarding the concern, I look forward to read more