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Amusing story forms from disgusting crime


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You probably have read that former NBA player Eddie Johnson was arrested for sexually molesting a 8 year old girl in Ocala. This wasn't the only Eddie Johnson to have played in the NBA in the 80s though. The player that was arrested had a college career at Auburn and played for the Hawks. The other Eddie Johnson grew up in Chicago, play at Illinois and I think played for the Suns.


When the Chicago Tribune saw the headline that Eddie Johnson was charged with the crime they assumed (and made an ass out of u and m) that this was the Chicago native Eddie Johnson. It was late, right before the deadline, and they put out an article stating that Chicago's Johnson had been arrested.


They made a little mistake:

An apology to Chicago's Eddie Johnson


Dan McGrath, Associate Managing Editor/Sports


August 10, 2006



Haste to make deadline is no excuse for putting incorrect information in a newspaper.


Factual errors erode a paper's credibility.




We made an inadvertent but hurtful error Tuesday night in an effort to get as much news as possible into Wednesday's final edition of the Tribune sports section, and we would like to apologize to Eddie Johnson, his family and friends, and our readers.


An Associated Press story detailing the arrest of "former NBA All-Star Eddie Johnson" moved across the wire late Tuesday, and a decision was made to get it into the "Press Box" segment of the sports section, where our sports briefs go.


In Chicago, former NBA star Eddie Johnson means Eddie Johnson, 47, a 6-foot-7-inch forward from Westinghouse High School and the University of Illinois, the Eddie Johnson who went on to a 17-year pro career with seven NBA teams. The Eddie Johnson who was distinguished as much by good citizenship and charity work as by 19,202 career points, a 16-point scoring average and the NBA's Sixth Man of the Year Award he won with the Phoenix Suns in 1988-89.


Unfortunately, the man arrested Tuesday was "the other" Eddie Johnson, 51, a 6-2 guard from Auburn who had a 10-year career with three NBA teams and has been in and out of trouble with the law since he quit playing in 1987.


In the last paragraph of the wire story, "the other" Eddie Johnson was identified correctly as a former Atlanta Hawks All-Star who played college ball at Auburn. But in our haste to make deadline, we failed to make the distinction.


The Ocala, Fla., dateline should have been one tipoff. Chicago's Eddie Johnson lives in Phoenix and works as a television analyst for the Suns.


The charges--sexual battery on a child younger than 12 and residential burglary--should have been not a tipoff but a red flag. Anyone who knows or has had even limited contact with Chicago's Eddie Johnson would find it unfathomable that he would be linked to such behavior.


"It has happened before" in other media, Johnson said Wednesday from his home in Phoenix. "The other guy keeps getting in trouble, and since I'm the more visible of the two, it keeps coming back to me."


For the record, Chicago's Eddie Johnson remains extensively involved in charity work, including motivational speaking and basketball clinics for kids. In addition to his broadcasting duties, he is president of a Phoenix telecommunications firm. He got his degree from Illinois in 1981, and he was and is regarded as one of the NBA's model citizens.


Again, we apologize.


"It has been a tough day," Johnson said, "but I appreciate you trying to set the record straight."




Your boy Skip Bayless f***ed up too. :o

False reports hurt ex-Sun Johnson

By Jerry Brown, Tribune

August 10, 2006

One day, ex-Suns star and current television color analyst Eddie Johnson was relaxing on vacation in Hawaii.


Related Links





The next, he was back at home answering phone calls about a sexual assault case that he knew nothing about ? and seething over inaccurate media reports that involved newspapers, television stations, nationally syndicated radio and the Internet.


The problems started Tuesday when Edward Lee ?Fast Eddie? Johnson ? a former two-time NBA All-Star with the Atlanta Hawks who has had a history of legal problems since his retirement ? was arrested and charged with the sexual assault of an 8-year-old girl.


But over the next 24 hours, Edward Arnet Johnson, the former Sixth Man of the Year with the Suns and popular broadcaster, was misidentified as the man arrested by at least three media outlets, including the Chicago Tribune and host Skip Bayless ? substituting for the vacationing Jim Rome on Rome?s nationally syndicated radio show.


?This is why athletes have so many problems with the media,? said Johnson, 47, who is four years younger than the Eddie Johnson who was arrested Tuesday. ?They don?t do their homework. They don?t bother to check facts before they write things or get on the radio and talk.


?I?m sitting here dumbfounded because 47 years of building a reputation is being destroyed in one morning by something I had nothing do with. I?ve been getting nasty e-mails all morning. It?s a nightmare.?


Johnson was born in Chicago and attended the University of Illinois. The Chicago Tribune ran the headline ?Former NBA, Illini star accused of sexual assault? above a wire story of the incident. ?Fast Eddie? Johnson was born in Ocala, Fla., and attended Auburn University.


By Wednesday afternoon the headline was changed to ?Ex-NBA star Johnson accused in sex rap? on the paper?s ChicagoSports.com Web site.


?That?s my hometown paper, one of the biggest newspapers in the world. And they got it wrong,? Johnson said.


Bayless, known for his rants on the ESPN2 morning show ?Cold Pizza,? reported the story inaccurately and added his own commentary before being informed he was talking about the wrong Eddie Johnson and apologizing several minutes later.


?Like that helps,? Johnson said. ?By that time, it?s a little late.?


Johnson also said an Atlanta television station attached his picture to the sexual assault story on their Web site ? even though ?Fast Eddie? Johnson played several seasons with the hometown Hawks.


This is not the first time Edward Lee Johnson has been in trouble with the law. The Ocala Star-Banner reported that Marion County court records show numerous convictions for burglary, battery, robbery, marijuana possession, possession of drug paraphernalia and resisting arrest ? all since 1989.


The Suns? Eddie Johnson said after each offense, his name was linked with the crimes.


?This guy has been haunting me my whole life,? Johnson said.


?Every time he gets in trouble, some of it comes back to me. This is the worst crime, so it?s the worst backlash. It?s been snowballing for the last 24 hours.?


Johnson said he had already been in contact with his attorney Wednesday and was ?thinking about? possible legal action.


?What would you do?? Johnson said. ?It?s horrible, deflating and unfair.?





Maybe the good guy should change to Ed Johnson or Eddie Middle Initial Johnson?

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