It’s been nearly three years since Chris Douglas-Roberts last appeared in an NBA game, seeing just over one minute of garbage time on Jan. 11, 2015, for the Los Angeles Clippers. For those of us die-hards who’d come to enjoy the Detroit-born former Memphis Tigers standout during his years with the New Jersey Nets, Milwaukee Bucks and Charlotte Bobcats (along with a very brief stint in Dallas), it was kind of a bummer that a fun player who seemed tailor-made for the way the game was moving — a 6-foot-7 wing who could switch assignments, shoot and make plays; all hustle, grind and flow; a low-wattage 3-and-D paired with “Booty Call”-and-short-shorts Swag — had appeared to wash out of the league while still in his athletic prime.
If you felt that way, too, Ben Mehic has some good news. The basketball world, it turns out, didn’t turn its back on Chris Douglas-Roberts. He decided to leave it behind, in pursuit of something he felt was more important: freedom, happiness and the chance to become who he was truly meant to be.
Who he was meant to be, apparently, is Supreme Bey: a name he says translates to “law enforcer,” and a moniker more in keeping with his growing identity as a seeker and explorer who has begun “an odyssey that might make the average person — or ‘star seed,’ as he calls them — question his decision making, and, his sanity.”
“My DNA was changing in the NBA — I was going through rebirths. I became more caring and compassionate. S**t that used to matter doesn’t matter anymore. I started seeing people suffering all over the world. It just got to a point when I couldn’t ignore it. It was within me. It’s a rebirth. The old person — my 3-D self — is dead.” […]
“I just was done. After I played in Charlotte, it was different. I don’t want this to be me versus basketball, because it was just me not wanting to do it anymore. I can still be playing — be working out and doing all of those things, but I just don’t want to anymore. I know this is a rare case and that’s why people say, ‘basketball was done with him.’ It was all me. I have no hard feelings with basketball. I just don’t want to do it anymore.” […]
“I’ve been Supreme,” Bey said. “This is who I was before I got here. Supreme is my true self. [CDR] was just someone who I was until I discovered myself. Now, this is my soul speaking. I’m a being of light, love and knowledge. Before, it was just a body and a voice. We’re souls. This body is just a vessel we use for this time being on this planet.
“Now, when I speak, the nature and the whole universe responds because there’s no blockage. I carry a high-dimension frequency. It’s my highest being. [CDR] served its purpose, but I just no longer carry that energy or frequency. I’m only interested in enjoying myself, love and creating. Every minute should be enjoyable in life. I have a clear mind and view on life. Once I got this clarity, I was able to access the memory we come here with. I’m disciplined mentally. I’ve disciplined my inner nature. I have control over my thoughts. I create my own reality. I’m vibrating with an unconditional love. It’s Supreme s**t. I’ve obtained self-mastery.”
If you felt your eyes widening as you read these quotes, you are not alone. As an admittedly pretty square dude, the even-handed clarity with which Bey discusses his dimensional travel, vibrational frequencies and the belief that his “main purpose in life is to raise humanity” seems equal parts jarring and fascinating to me. (To be fair, Bey readily acknowledges that: “A lot of the things I’m saying — when people read it, it’s going to sound insane. But it’s just my truth. I know the s**t I say isn’t typical. I know what you’re thinking.”)
A cynical sort would point to the note in Mehic’s lede — about Bey waking up and smoking weed every morning before heading out of his house and hopping on his skateboard — and suggest that these are, ostensibly, the ramblings of a stoner who has escaped the clutches of gravity and begun floating into space. The more that I re-read Mehic’s fantastic piece, though, I just find myself thinking, “Good for you, man.”
Being an NBA player doesn’t seem easy. Journeymen like the former Douglas-Roberts can struggle to lock down significant job security, bouncing from team to team at the whims of front offices and coaching staffs without any control over where and how they live. Even superstars working at the top of their profession and earning eight figures a year still face all manner of stress and anxiety to work tirelessly to perform at the highest possible level.
Many players keep plugging away through those issues because of their love of the game. Others do it because they don’t know what else they’d do, or because they need the money. But if you don’t love it anymore, and if you don’t feel like you need the money, and if you do have some idea of what else you’d like to do for a living — in Bey’s case, starting your own media management agency — and you see a way to make yourself happy? Well, why the hell not?
“I run my life how I want,” Supreme Bey says. “I’m not just a basketball player anymore.”
That’s a bummer for the rest of us, because having Supreme Bey in his current form would only help make the world’s most character-driven sports league even more entertaining and rich. For the man himself, though? Well, again: good for you, dude. I hope you enjoy self-mastery. Maybe someday the rest of us will be lucky enough to find that frequency, too.
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