Sanchez never made it to Los Angeles with the rest of Cheizaw, though. He was arrested and convicted of armed robbery. The conviction was later overturned, but then that decision was reversed by a higher court. Sanchez served five years.
Sanchez said he’s thankful Kobe supported him by paying for his lawyer and paying for another friend to travel to Philadelphia to testify in court as a character witness. And that he doesn’t hold it against him, that Kobe did not testify on Sanchez’s behalf.
One, the people managing his career didn’t want him besmirching his appeal. This was 1998. Back when athletes didn’t make political statements or say anything that might offend the silent majority. They didn’t talk about things like race or class or violence or crime. If you wanted to be a crossover star, you needed to leave Philly behind.
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And two, the NBA and its corporate sponsors were growing increasingly uncomfortable with anything resembling the inner city, including players. They cringed at Allen Iverson’s cornrows and rap sheet. By 2005, the league would enact a dress code that banned clothes associated with hip-hop culture.
So no, it was not a good look for the league’s youngest superstar, the heir apparent to Michael Jordan as a player and as a corporate shill, to be showing up in a Philadelphia courthouse to vouch for his high school rapper friend who’d been accused of armed robbery.
Limited Mens Robin Ventura Jersey A few years ago, Sanchez saw Kobe when Lower Merion renamed its high school gym after him. Sanchez didn’t have tickets, so he waited outside. When Kobe walked out of the gym, he caught Sanchez’s eye and called out to him, “Hey, Sand.”