KATY, Texas He sits back at the Chili's in Katy, Texas, and allows himself to dream.
"They say Michael's coming back," William Bedford says, sipping a glass of iced tea. "Washington would be nice. Charles says he's coming back, too, I hear. Why can't I?"
Make no mistake, Bedford looks good he says he's only a few pounds from his playing size of 7 feet, 235 pounds and he still talks a good game, too. But there is this little problem with reality.
At 37, Bedford hasn't played in the NBA for eight years. Oh, and there's this pending matter in Taylor, Mich.
When police stopped Bedford and two fellow Texans this past February, they allegedly found 25 pounds of marijuana in an SUV that belonged to Bedford's parents. With his prior convictions Bedford has been in jail five times for a variety of drug-related reasons he could be looking at 10 years in jail.
"It was another mistake I got myself into," says Bedford, who denies that drugs were in the truck.
Wayne County Sheriff Robert Ficano believes he has a solid case.
"People, many times, don't think about the consequences of their act until it's too late," Ficano says. "But at the same time, people have to realize that there are consequences."
It took some time Bedford's spotty NBA career came to a cocaine-induced end in 1993 but the consequences eventually caught up to him. Now, the hammer is poised to come down in unprecedented fashion.
Bedford, typically, is oblivious. He's renovating his cul-de-sac home, playing with his 4-year-old son Zachary and generally living in denial. While there has been an outstanding warrant for Bedford's arrest for more than a month now, his time on the outside seems to be nearing an end.
|William Bedford (50), Keith Lee (24), Andre Turner (10) and Vincent Askew (30) were the core of a dominant Memphis State team that reached the NCAA Final Four in 1985.|
If Bedford had voluntarily surrendered to Michigan authorities, he probably would not be considered a flight risk and, therefore, might escape a heavy bail that would keep him incarcerated in the months leading up to the inevitable trial.
"Yeah, I'm concerned," Bedford said. "Very concerned."
Evidently not concerned enough to meet law enforcement authorities halfway. According to Ficano, Bedford has made no effort to contact his office or obtain counsel. Soon, the county prosecutor will make a serious effort to contact Bedford. He could be extradited with the assistance of federal marshals sometime in the near future.
"It's a point in my life when I'm trying to do something positive," Bedford says. "I don't need another thing to come up and back-stab me."
Greg Garber is a senior writer for ESPN.com
||It's a point in my life when I'm trying to do something positive. I don't need another thing to come up and back-stab me. ”
||— William Bedford
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