Beyond the Arc

by Ben Fiore

Mike Bibby played in the NBA for 14 seasons for the Grizzlies, Kings, Hawks, Heat, Wizards and Knicks.  Currently Bibby is the head coach of the basketball team of his alma mater high school, Shadow Mountain High.  But that may not be for very much longer.  Bibby has been reported to have sexually assaulted a teacher of the school district 2 years ago.

The teacher who will remain anonymous, came forward about an incident that happened on school grounds in February of 2017.  The woman said that Bibby motioned for her to come towards him in a school parking lot through the window of his car.  The woman went to walk past him as Bibby exited the vehicle.  He then followed after her, grabbed her by the waist and drew himself towards her while groping.  The woman made it clear to him she wanted no part of it.  Bibby proceeded to move her on to the seat in the car through the open door and lay on top of her while becoming more sexually aggressive.  He reportedly said “oh what I could do to you” during the harassment.  She managed to get away and made contact with two other school staff members.  She also added that she could smell alcohol on Bibby’s breathe, also indicating drunk driving and drinking on school property.  The teacher has said she kept in silence for fear of how Bibby would react or retaliate, saying that he has stalked her as well.  She decided to come forward and now Bibby is being investigated on the reported incident.

This poses a much bigger problem.  Yet another professional athlete carrying on a sad and disgraceful culture that is turning more and more people away from sports.  Mike Bibby was an underrated and beloved NBA point guard who most people would not expect this from, but that isn’t the point.  Because this isn’t a sports problem.  This is a people problem.  And a representation OF sports BY people problem.  Now I know this man is not actively an athlete, but he was a revered pro talent once and even more so to a  higher standard is a high school basketball coach.  That’s someone who as a former athlete and then coach is to be a role model and leader of men.  No parent wants their child to have a role model of an athlete who behaves in such a disgusting and disrespectful manner.  I was even a Mike Bibby fan in my childhood, which goes to show you that we as people are capable of the absolute best and absolute worst no matter what the expectation.  As a coach, you should be setting an example to those young men of being respectful, and being able to treat women in a respectful manner, how to handle rejection, and conduct yourself as a man.  This is sad news to the NBA, the world of sports and most importantly that teacher and the community of that school district.

Moving forward, I can’t see a scenario where even if proven innocent that Bibby keeps his job, or is ever able to coach again.  And if this is all proven to be fact, then clearly it is for the better.  As a coach, as a role model, as a father and as a man, all athletes have to set a better precedent for how they should behave.  Sports and simple chivalry and respectfulness will die more and more each day if men and women who are in a certain spotlight don’t change the culture or the perception on most pro athletes.  Now there are plenty of good hearted athletes, but the media and the world is much quicker to pay attention to the bad than the good.

As for Bibby, the investigation is currently open and awaiting further notice.  The school has not made a final judgement on his career but are expected to soon, as we also await a court date.  You can find a follow up article here once the verdict is released.

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Written by benfiore

NBA writer of Beyond the Arc. Employee, podcast host and writer for Thoughts From the Bench.

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