Fact: No one composing this blog post knows where Christian Laettner is today. I’m sure someone knows, just not me. Here are a couple of pictures from when Laettner was last seen playing for the Washington, D.C. professional basketball franchise, with whom he appeared 206 games over three-plus seasons…
(disclaimer: most, some, or all of these pictures have come here courtesy of the Internet, a place(s) that you can get to by typing letters in the The Google.)
Here’s Laettner shooting a lay-up, except for the wrong way:
Here’s Laettner’s mug shot-esque photograph in a retro Washington Bullets uniform while he’s about to sneeze:
Christian Laettner before and after a summer where he “discovered” himself:
Christian Laettner attempting a chest pass:
Christian Laettner when he played “Christian Laettner” in an unknown, ahead of its time after-school special about the perils of tween sexting and date rape. It taught a lot of folks a lot of things. Mainly, don’t do those things.
Christian Laettner going for a finger roll a la George Gervin versus Chicago’s Joakim Noah:
Christian Laettner caught between the philosophies of “It is what it is” and “Let’s get it poppin’”:
Christian Laettner when he played Blane the Duke field hockey player on an episode of the original Beverly Hills 90210:
With advanced technology, we at TAI were able to render how Laettner might look today if you ran across him in the Lunchables section of the grocery store. Of course, the rendering turned out to closely resemble the guy who played the dad on Malcolm in the Middle playing a dad later in life on a show called Breaking Bad — not our fault.
But why does Laettner appear to be so grizzled these days?
Well, courtesy of gossip blog SportsByBrooks, as recently as 2009 Laettner was failing at real estate ventures, pretty badly. Badly as in getting sued by steroid tested former NFL players like Shawne Merriman. Laettner was even defaulting on property at 1000 Wisconsin Avenue here in D.C., fancy property on the waterfront in Georgetown, according the Washington Business Journal in January 2010.
But that’s not why you’re here…
You want Laettner’s happy holiday wishes. Understandable.
According to a couple advanced stats (game score and win shares) via the Basketball-Reference.com blog, Christian Laettener holds the best Thanksgiving Day game performance in Washington franchise basketball history (well, since 1987 — and, since he’s even being mentioned by the BBR blog in the first place, one of the best Thanksgiving Day basketball games ever since 1987).
On November 22, 2001, Laettner had 19 points (8-13 FGs), 15 rebounds (seven offensive), seven assists and zero turnovers in 45 minutes of play. Of course, Michael Jordan’s Wizards shot a crappy percentage as a team and passed the ball no where near as well as the opponent, losing to the Indiana Pacers 110-103 that Turkey Day.
This also goes to show you how silly a stat such as “Win-Shares” can be: Laettner, in all Thanksgiving Day games in NBA history (since ’87), had the 15th best “win-share” — he contributed 0.26 wins as a non-primary player whose shots were most likely created by others in a game in which the Wizards lost. Nice.
Then again, Christian Laettner could be deceased for all I know (doubt it, we would’ve heard). Here, he is seen reenacting one of his famous collegiate basketball shots before passing away due to a drug overdose.