(Todd A. Smith)

In America, the justice system considers a person innocent until proven guilty.

Therefore, no one can assume to know whether Houston Rockets point guard Kevin Porter, Jr. did to his girlfriend Kysre Gondrezick what law enforcement accuses him of doing.

Apparently, she even disputed some of the allegations.

Therefore, guilt or innocence will play itself out in the court of law.

However, how many times does it take for a person, who God has gifted with so much talent, to realize that one day they will run out of chances and excuses and their dream will become a nightmare as a result?

Furthermore, when will people learn that some of their alleged actions cannot even be classified as mistakes.

Some alleged behavior is just a sign of criminality and abuse that does not warrant another chance.

It warrants some corrective and punitive measures that even an employer or organization cannot dish out.

Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle reported, “Rockets guard Kevin Porter Jr.’s alleged assault of his girlfriend Monday left her with a fractured neck vertebra…

“Porter punched Gondrezick in the face multiple times and grabbed her around the neck, according to the criminal complaint. Gondrezick told police she had neck pain and was taken to an area hospital for observation that found fractured vertebra.”

If prosecutors prove those allegations in court, Porter might become the poster child for squandered chances and regret because after a while even a talented person becomes too much of a headache to tolerate any further.

Multiple times, the star guard had received mercy for poor behavior.

During his time playing for the Cleveland Cavaliers, the guard lost his temper when the team brought in a new player and moved Porter’s locker.

He began throwing objects and yelling at people because of the locker move.

Right after that, Porter got into a confrontation with Cavaliers general manager Kobe Altman and was traded to the Rockets.

When he got into a heated exchange with former Rockets assistant coach John Lucas, throwing an object at him and leaving the Toyota Center at halftime, the Rockets organization still welcomed him back into the fold and gave him a lucrative contract extension.

That pattern, unfortunately, does not show a young person making youthful and immature mistakes.

Porter’s pattern of behavior shows a young man with a serious problem that could lead to even more tragic circumstances if he does not get the punishment and help that his actions deserve.

As a lifelong Houston Rockets fan, I hate to see such a talented young person squander potential greatness.

As a Black man, I hate to say that another Black man deserves prison time if the allegations prove true.

But as a man, I cannot condone violence against women in any capacity.

Therefore, whatever the punishment is, it is warranted if he is guilty.

Think about how much worse the situation could have been.

With the injuries that she allegedly suffered, Porter could have just as easily paralyzed or even killed Gondrezick.

So, while prisons have a history of unfairly targeting Black men, corrective institutions are also a place to learn from past mistakes and a place that ensures that dangerous people are off the streets and not posing a danger to society.

Trust me, if a man is not physical abusive by nature, he will not suddenly begin pummeling a woman in the face and choking her out.

A real man would remove themselves from a volatile situation.

A real man would have ended the relationship.

A real man would have even just gone for a walk to calm down before returning to the hotel room or their home.

However, a coward hits a woman.

A coward chokes out a woman.

But that type a coward has no business donning an NBA jersey ever again it the allegations turn out to be true.

Many remember the uproar that ensued when the Cleveland Browns traded for quarterback Deshaun Watson and gave him a lucrative contract.

Watson had been accused of sexual misconduct with dozens of massage therapists.

However, the Browns believed that adding Watson to the mix would make them a Super Bowl contender.

Therefore, they might have believed that the blowback would be worth it.

While some of the criticism for the Browns might have subsided, Watson still cannot escape the stigma of being an alleged sexual predator.

As a result, the Browns carry that stigma too.

Just imagine how much louder the uproar would be if a team allows a player to suit up in a game when their actions could have resulted in the death of a young woman?

No amount of public relations magic would ever fix the damaged image of that team.

Because of that, Porter will never play in the NBA again if he is found guilty.

That is a shame because he definitely has the talent to be a star in the league.

He has a chance to change his family’s fortunes for generations to come.

Unfortunately, now he might become another statistic.

He might become another what-if or the best that never was.

And if that occurs, that will eat at him for the rest of his life.

Hopefully, another young man might see this possible cautionary tale as reason to get the help that he needs.

Porter has an anger issue.

He has a penchant for getting violent.

It reared its ugly head in the locker room multiple times.

That could be forgiven, and brushed off as a mistake, because it was man to man combat.

But when that anger and violence allegedly impacts women, it is the sign of a deeper and darker issue.

And that simply cannot be excused.

Todd A. Smith
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