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Shawn Kemp is a 6'10", 230 lb. Forward-Center from Trinity Valley Community College who played for the Seattle SuperSonics
, Cleveland Cavaliers
, Portland TrailBlazers
, and Orlando Magic
Kemp went to high school at Concord in Elkhart, Indiana. He was considered an elite player by his senior season and signed a letter-of-intent to the University of Kentucky. When he was accused of pawning two gold chains allegedly stolen from the coach's son, he transferred to Trinity Valley Community College. After a semester at the community college in which he did not play basketball he decided to enter the 1989 NBA Draft where he was selected 17th overall by the Seattle SuperSonics.
Teamed with Gary Payton the Sonics got better and better, peaking in the 1995-96 season when they went to the NBA Finals against the Chicago Bulls, led by Michael Jordan. They lost in six games. On Septemeber 25, 1997 Kemp was traded to the Cleveland Cavaliers as part of a three-team trade. With the Cavaliers he battled weight problems. During the 1998-99 season Kemp would average 20.5 points per game, a career-best. On August 30, 2000 he was traded as part of a three-team trade to the Portland TrailBlazers. With the Blazers he battled problems with his weight, cocaine and alcohol abuse. On September 5, 2002 he signed as a free agent with the Orlando Magic, where he played one season, his last NBA season.
Kemp tried to return to the NBA several times but failed each time. He signed a contract to play for the Italian League's Premiata Montegranaro, but during the season he wanted to go to Houston to check on his home after Hurricane Ike, and the contract was voided. Kemp remains to be one of Seattle's best players ever. Unfortunately his career was later hampered by problems with weight, cocaine use, and alcohol abuse.
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