I was standing in the men’s room at an upscale Seattle, Washington, steakhouse. I’d spent the day hang ing with my Boston Celtics teammate Avery Bradley, volunteering for one of his favorite local charities. We’d helped feed 500 families. Now we were unwinding with some of the other sponsors. NBA training camp was right around the corner. I’d just signed a $1.4 million contract. Life was good.
Just as I was finishing up, I felt something. A hand gripped my backside. Not in an accidental kind of way. What on earth? I zipped up my pants and whirled around. An older dude, stumbling drunk, a few feet away from me, smirking. I didn’t think. My fingers shot out, inches from his face. “I could kill you with my bare hands,” I said, but he just laughed. “What is it you see in me that you would do that?” I demanded, the thought escaping my lips almost before it registered in my mind.
He tried to make a joke. I shoved past him. “I’ve got to get some air,” I said when I got back to the table.
I went outside. There was the older dude, still grinning, still stumbling drunk. Before I knew what I was doing, my hands were around his throat. Squeezing hard. Then arms pulled me away. Avery and the guys we were eating with. “It’s okay. He’s not worth it. Let it go,” they said.
Back in my hotel room, the walls felt as if they were closing in on me. I was frightened, confused.