One was a star. One was a nobody. In a little more than 10 years, one would have a $155 million contract, a 24,000-square-foot house with a nine-car garage and a sneaker with his name on it. The other, after spending time at five colleges and in alcohol rehab, would be dead.
It's not a long article and definitely worth the full read. I could understand the argument that Felton was troubled, and it was many events, not just that one that led to that path.
But I think its larger than that. I think its necessary to look at how a 16 year old kid can be affected by one event, and more importantly, without the right support system, how it can start to crumble down on top of him. There are a lot of ties one could make to inner-city life, being a young black male, no father, sick mother, etc. and I think most people are smart to see how everything ties together. But it is a lesson for every crazy sports parent out there. Just because you yell at your kid to suck it up, doesn't always mean they can. And not being there does make a big difference too.
ESPN The Magazine: The Wrong Side of Great