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Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
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Sunday / February 25.
  • O.J. Simpson — Guilty at Last

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    Payback is a bitch, huh?

    Thirteen years to the day after O.J. Simpson was cleared of murdering his ex-wife, Nicole Brown Simpson, and her friend, Ronald Goldman, Simpson was found guilty of robbing two sports-memorabilia dealers at gunpoint in a Las Vegas hotel room.

    Simpson and co-defendant Clarence “C.J.” Stewart face sentencing for armed robbery and kidnapping Dec. 5.

    Simpson said he was trying to recover his own memorabilia that had been stolen from his trophy room and was unaware that the other men with him were armed.

    “I don’t like to use the word payback,” defense attorney Yale Galanter said. “I can tell you from the beginning my biggest concern … was whether or not the jury would be able to separate their very strong feelings about Mr. Simpson and judge him fairly and honestly.”

    On a personal note, I remember being in a large common room at Columbia University when Simpson was declared not guilty of the murders in 1995….The reaction was pretty much split, with many of the white people in the room shocked and upset over the verdict, while many of the African-American people cheered and celebrated.

    Thirteen years later, it appears O.J. finally got what he deserved.

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    Adam Zagoria is a Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. A contributor to The New York Times and SportsNet New York (SNY), he is also the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker. His articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. He also won an Emmy award for his work on the SNY mini-documentary on Syracuse guard Tyus Battle. A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013. He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.

    • I think as a journalist to post ” payback is a bitch” is very unprofessional. Unless you have definitive proof that OJ killed his wife by himself as portrayed, then you are being bias in your response to your feelings about this present case. Not only that but it supports OJ’s comment that he didnt involve the police to retrieve the stolen merchandise because they would not have helped. For all those upset with the verdict and constantly looking for justice, why not all the same energy for many more classes where black americans were the victims by the actions of white individuals and got off? Defenders of justice shouldnt be so one sided.

    • Lengend, last time I checked this was a blog. That means people express their opinions. Keep your race card handy though, I’m sure you will play it about a month from now.

    • Definitive proof?

      How about this, which is essentially an admission of guilt, from OJ in his book, “If I Did It.”

      As for the murders, Simpson describes a chilling scene:

      I looked over at Goldman, and I was fuming. I guess he thought I was going to hit him, because he got into his little karate stance. “What the fuck is that?” I said. “You think you can take me with your karate shit?” He started circling me, bobbing and weaving, and if I hadn’t been so fucking angry I would have laughed in his face. “O.J., come on!” It was Charlie again, pleading. Nicole moaned, regaining consciousness. She stirred on the ground and opened her eyes and looked at me, but it didn’t seem like anything was registering. Charlie walked over and planted himself in front of me blocking my view. “We are fucking done here, man-let’s go!”

      I noticed the knife in Charlie’s hand, and in one deft move I removed my right glove and snatched it up. “We’re not going anywhere,” I said, turning to face Goldman. Goldman was still circling me, bobbing and weaving, but I didn’t feel like laughing anymore. “You think you’re tough, motherfucker?” I said. I could hear Charlie just behind me, saying something, urging me to get the fuck out of there, and at one point he even reached for me and tried to drag me away, but I shook him off, hard, and moved toward Goldman. “Okay, motherfucker!” I said. “Show me how tough you are!”

      Then something went horribly wrong, and I know what happened, but I can’t tell you exactly how. I was still standing in Nicole’s courtyard, of course, but for a few moments I couldn’t remember how I’d gotten there, when I’d arrived, or even why I was there. Then it came back to me, very slowly: The recital-with little Sydney up on stage, dancing her little heart out; me, chipping balls into my neighbor’s yard; Paula, angry, not answering her phone; Charlie, stopping by the house to tell me some more ugly shit about Nicole’s behavior. Then what? The short, quick drive from Rockingham to the Bundy condo. And now?

      Now I was standing in Nicole’s courtyard, in the dark, listening to the loud, rhythmic, accelerated beating of my own heart. I put my left hand to my heart and my shirt felt strangely wet. I looked down at myself. For several moments, I couldn’t get my mind around what I was seeing. The whole front of me was covered in blood, but it didn’t compute. Is this really blood? I wondered. And whose blood is it? Is it mine? Am I hurt?

    • Forget playing it in a month, that sucker will be used like trump cards when its appropriate. You will never get me to feel sympathy or hold back when the facts state blatant racism or prejudice. You are probably one of those who feel race had nothing to do with willie randolph, ty willingham, and ray rhodes being fired and Isiah demoted in a degrading manner, while cashman, Minaya, and lawrence frank still having jobs. Get real, OJ was not tried fairly in the case. Too many ppl are trying to get justice for what they feel should have happened 13 yrs ago. As for this being a blog, they is fully understood but the comment was towards zag if he posted life is a bitch. Get some hair on your face because you mention ppl playing race cards. If you look , listen and open your eyes you will learn alot..

    • Omar Minaya is of Spanish descent and so is Jerry Manuel…both of whom got contract extensions this week AFTER crumbling in September once again. How does that fit into your equation of managers/GMs getting fired because of race?

    • You forgot to put … at the beginning of your paragraph, which means you left out everything written before that point putting things into context. Second you are referencing a book that was not written by OJ himself directly but by a journalist looking for shock value. But as you are so quick to point all out the facts behind OJ being guilty, did you go to the same lengths to find out the facts behind diallo, louima, belle, baez, and dorismond just to name a few and let it be known on a regular basis? Probably not which was my initial point of their being an ax to grind with OJ going free from the first trial and not getting a fair trial this time around. This blog is suppose to be about sports and the OJ matter had nothing to do with sports. How about putting up stories like mike golicks, espn and espn radio, son was part of the notre dame players underage arrested for drinking. As you see this is petty information which most sport fans can care less about.

    • -O.J. Simpson is a Heisman trophy winner and a Hall of Fame running back. None of the five people you initially cited were professional athletes.

      -As for Tyrone Willingham, there was a large contingent in the media that tried to make Tyrone Willingham’s firing into a racial debate.

      In the midst of their worst start in 39 years, ask the average Washington fan or booster two questions:
      a) is Tyrone Willingham is worthy of keeping his job?
      b) are you better off today than you were four years ago?

    • Thank you Alessandro. Apparently Lengend forgot that O.J. Simpson was a football player and that his recent case involved sports memorabilia. What does that have to do with sports??

    • SHUGRAD, you should give back your degree because you seem to very slow to pick up on things. You answered your own question with your answer. willie randolph, ty willingham, and ray rhodes are all african american and Minaya and Manuel are not as you stated. So the reference was to Black american males not get a fair deal in roles of leadership, I mentioned nothing about black hispanics.
      Alessandro, you must be related to SHU because I never mentioned anything about willingham at Washington because for starters he hasnt been fired yet so we can only speak about what has happened so far. Now if he gets fired at washington nobody would complain because they have been terrible but in the notre dame situation they never gave him time to even see his first recruits graduate while never firing a coach before his contracted ended until willingham, then they turn around and give a 10 yr contract to weis who has been terrible just like davy was. Willie randoplh was fired when its obvious the problem with the team had nothing to do with him but omar overpaying his guys and not addressing the obvious issues. If you and SHU cant see this then you are simply in denial.
      As for the last comment about OJ being an athlete, then why is nobody talking about how Jim Leyritz killed a mother of 2 or 3 from driving drunk? The media attention was like a day and half and at the tail end of talks. Is that not more heinous than OJ trying to retrieve objects they were rightfully his? See this is the problem with ppl, they see what they want to see and then have the nerve to act like others are just trying to play on ppl’s sympathy or stir things for no reason.
      So I end this conversation with, if ron goldman is able to get all of OJ belongings and he get a long prison term does louima, diallo, belle, and dorismond(just to name a few) families get to go after the policemen or their kids and grandkids in the same manner?

    • VERY disappointed with you Adam. I don’t think I’ll be back on this blog anytime soon. Your headline alone ‘Guilty at last’ is just not what I expected to see from you. Much less the rest of it. Good luck the rest of the way in your blog, but shame on you!

    • The guy murdered his wife and her boyfriend in cold blood, basically admitted it in a book and got away with it for 13 years. I don’t think I’m saying anything that is that crazy or wild…What exactly is your objection?