Early Wednesday morning, New York Knicks F Cleanthony Early was reportedly shot in the knee cap and then robbed while leaving a Strip Club in Queens.
Early, who was leaving around 4:30am, had his cab boxed in by three SUV’s in what sounds like a planned robbery/hit, though neither have been confirmed by NYPD.
Early was released from the hospital today after sustaining the injury to his knee cap, however there is no given timetable for his return or his recovery process.
First and foremost, I want to extend positive thoughts to Early and his family, as this is a frightening situation.
Early was robbed of two gold chains and the gold caps to his teeth upon getting in a taxi to leave the club, though the total value of the stolen jewelry has not been disclosed.
Conversely, a few weeks ago another Knicks Forward, Derrick Williams, reportedly was robbed by two women who he brought back to his apartment following a night on the town.
The damage in the Williams robbery? A confirmed $750,000 worth of stolen jewelry. The worth of the two chains being worn by Early have not been disclosed, however it is very concerning that multiple Knicks players have been robbed of jewelry, in what seemed like setups, within the span of a few weeks.
This is incredibly disconcerting on multiple levels, and I do not even know where to start, end, or what the worst part is.
Let us consider that these players were both easily taken advantage of, and were seemingly targeted, and I have trouble believing that the women who robbed Williams and the team that robbed and shot Early, were unaware that they were targeting two Knicks players.
My point is that these people likely knew who they were robbing. It is a sad reality that athletes are targets these days by people who will make up false claims and rob them just to get a pay day. It is unfortunate, but it is the world we live in.
Another disconcerting point about this, is that the Knicks are not a very good team, and both players are looking like failed draft busts (even with Early as a 2nd rounder, he has contributed very little, if at all, to the Knicks sine being drafted last season).
Where is their focus? It is easier said than done by someone typing on a keyboard, but is 4:30am a little late to be out, if you are a professional athlete? Maybe not in the opinion of some, but when you are a team that is struggling to get to .500, you may be better served keeping a low profile, i.e. not leaving a strip club at 4:30am.
Another issue, which I do not even want to get into but I will at least point out, is that Williams had $750,000 worth of jewelry stolen. Seven hundred and fifty thousand dollars. I had to type that out to read it for myself, but if you have that type of money invested in jewelry, you are best keeping it hidden when strangers enter your home.
My last point on this, is that clearly these guys were out late in the city—does Phil Jackson or Derek Fisher have any sort of control over their players? I am sure it happens, but you do not hear about Tim Duncan, Tony Parker, Kawhi Leonard, Danny Green, or any San Antonio Spurs dealing with these issues.
You do not hear that Steph Curry or Klay Thompson or Draymond Green got robbed at gun point.
Sure, they play in different markets, but you do not even hear about it when they come to New York.
The last question, arguably the most frightening, is: are Knicks players being targeted, or are these two seemingly random events that just coincide in the same period of time?
All of it, top to bottom, if very, very concerning.