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What’s up with all the bizarre courtroom drama involving Celtics Kevin Garnett, Shaquille O’Neal, Jermaine O’Neal?

08.04.11 at 6:13 pm ET

First, a group of Las Vegas casino security officers countersued Bobcats assistant coach Charles Oakley, claiming current Celtics center Jermaine O’Neal was present when the former Knicks enforcer threw one pool employee off a patio table to the ground, pushed a security officer, threatened others, kicked and punched a few more, elbowed a couple more in the face, spit on another one, swore and “threatened to knock people out.” So JO might have seen Oakley turn into the Incredible Hulk. No big deal.

Then, there was former former Celtics center Shaquille O’Neal‘s ties to a Los Angeles man named Robert Ross, who was allegedly kidnapped by the Main Street Crips and beaten over a non-existent sex tape of Shaq and his ex-wife Shaunie O’Neal. And the ensuing ridiculous Ross lawsuit that accused Shaq of ordering him to kill a whole bunch of people. And then another Shaq acquaintance’s lawsuit that alleges the surefire Hall of Famer planted tracking devices on Shaunie’s car, recruited law enforcement to help frame his former friend and covered up an affair with Newsweek reporter Allison Samuels (see photo). Who hasn’t been accused of kidnapping, murder and framing someone for possession of child pornography in the course of a single summer?

What the hell is going on here? Lawsuits are getting out of control, right? I mean, you can pretty much sue anybody for anything, and some judge will be like, “Sure, why the hell not, let’s take a look?” Can’t somebody just step back and say, “Well, Robert Ross appears to have less than zero credibility”?

And now it starts to get weird. Now, you say? Yes, now. In Seattle, Wash., during the murder trial of two men — Brandon Chaney and Bryce Huber — accused along with two other men of killing another man for revenge over the robbery of a drug dealer (got all that?), a witness detailed her experience on the night of the shooting (Super Bowl Sunday, obviously). She claimed one of the men she saw before and after hearing gunshots looked like Kevin Garnett. Not that he was KG. He just looked like KG. That didn’t stop the defense attorney from carrying on a conversation with the witness as if Garnett was actually present at the scene of the crime. Here are the details from

Asked if, as she was standing there outside, if anyone passed by her, Bardwell testified she’€™d seen three men. Able to only ‘€œgenerally describe’€ two of them, she noted the third one reminded her of NBA basketball player Kevin Garnett. ‘€œAt first they were heading east, through the passageway toward California. They were giggling because they said ‘€˜good morning,’€™ and it was obviously not morning any longer.’€ They passed from her view.

The next time she saw those three men: ‘€œI saw one, and then two more. The one alone was coming back down the passageway, first, going west. ‘€˜Number one’€™ was walking briskly, the one who looked like Kevin Garnett. I had not heard any gunshots when he walked past me.’€

‘€œThen I heard gunshots. More than one, and less than a dozen. Maybe 4, 5, 6?’€ Bardwell testified that she knew immediately they were gunshots; ‘€œWhen I was a child, our parents had us do gun-range training. I knew what they sounded like. I moved into a corner as far as I could and tried to become one with the drain pipe.’€

During questions by defense attorney Roe, Bardwell said that she wasn’€™t sure exactly how long it was after the Super Bowl ended that she arrived at the restaurant.’€I can’€™t answer, I don’€™t know; it was dark.’€ She went out alone, and asked if there was anyone else out there smoking, Bardwell testified that she did not know anyone else in the breezeway, and wasn’€™t sure exactly how many people were there, saying ‘€œpeople come and go.’€ She could not recall if she was alone when the men first went through the breezeway, and believed that the man who said ‘€œGood morning’€ was ‘€œthe Kevin Garnett guy.’€ How much time passed before he came back through? ‘€œI can’€™t answer that with certainty.’€

‘€œThe first man who came back through, ‘€˜Kevin Garnett.’€™’€ How much in advance of the shots did Kevin Garnett walk back through?’€ ‘€œI can’€™t answer that with certainty. Just a few moments.’€ After ‘€œKevin Garnett’€ and the other two first went through west to east, did you look around the corner to see where they went? ‘€œNo.’€

With no questions offered from defense attorney Savage, the prosecutor questioned Bardwell further: ‘€œWere you shown a photograph of various individuals?’€ ‘€œYes.’€ ‘€œSeparate photographs of individuals themselves?’€ ‘€œYes.’€ ‘€œDid you recognize anyone?’€ ‘€œYes. The fellow who looked like Kevin Garnett.’€

How weird is this? Have you ever met anybody that reminded you of KG? Not only is he 6-foot-11, 220 pounds, Garnett is one of the most unique athletic specimens in the history of professional sports. And then the defense attorney just continues a line of questioning in which they’re all calling one of the suspects Kevin Garnett? I’m willing to bet $10,000 this dude looks nothing like Garnett, so I guess that’s why the defense attorney piggybacked it: “My client looks nothing like KG!” If there are reasons not to want to be famous, this is one of them: Your name can come up in a random court case and everybody just says, “Hey, eff it, let’s roll with this.”

Read More: Boston Celtics, Jermaine O'Neal, Kevin Garnett, Shaquille O'Neal
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