Ben Hohler of the Boston Globe has done a lot of homework about athletes carrying guns. The list in the NBA includes Shaquille O'Neal, Paul Pierce, Vince Carter, and allegedly hundreds more. Here are some choice quotes:
In the NBA, the figure "is closer to 100 percent than it is to 50 [percent]," said a team official who requested anonymity.
"Fortunately, nobody has gotten killed" in recent years, said Boston Celtics center Theo Ratliff, who said he does not carry a firearm but has seen handgun ownership rise among NBA players during his 11 seasons in the league. "If something like that happens, it would put a big X on the situation."
Had Pierce been carrying a gun the night he was stabbed, he was asked, how might things have been different? "It probably wouldn't have been any different," he said. "Stuff happens so fast, who knows if it would have changed the outcome."
Another player's suggestion: Don't advertise your wealth. "My thing is, if you don't wear the $50,000 chain, you don't need a gun to protect yourself," said Patriots lineman Jarvis Green, who said he goes unarmed.