Chris Gatling moved out west and channeled his inner-pioneer, and it did not end well. The former NBA All-star, who played for Golden State, Miami, and my Milwaukee Bucks, is facing several chargers out of Paradise Valley, Arizona, after squatting in an unoccupied home and attempting to rent it out on Craigslist.com.
Talk about entrepreneurship.
For those of you who may not be familiar with the term, “squatting” is a practice that dates back to the settlers of the old west. If a person, or group of people, wanted to lay claim to a piece of unincorporated, or abandoned land, all they had to do was live on it for a while, literally squat there, and the nearest governing body with the proper authority would give them the land, usually in the form of a grant. In some cases the “squatters” were required to successfully build a home or other building on the land, in other cases, presumably the cases which Gatling used as precedent for his actions, the settlers could claim land with existing buildings if the land had been abandoned.
Problem is, this house wasn’t abandoned, the homeowners—who were in California at the time—still had the electricity on! Not to mention the minor detail that squatting is now illegal. Apparently Gatling had already received a down payment for the “rental” when another prospective renter became weary of the $800 four-bedroom listed as a “Ex-NBA” home, and notified police.
Chris’ attorney says this is all a “misunderstanding“. That will be a tough sell in court, as most others would note that when your door key doesn’t work, you are probably at the wrong address. Instead, Chris decided to break the key box and move right in.
For the man who averaged 10-and-5 over an 11-year-plus career, including a stop in Russia’s pro basketball league, and made nearly 30 million dollars, this is just another feather in the cap. From “The Energizer” to “The Gatling Gun”, I move that from this moment forward Chris Gatling shall be referred to as “The Squatling”.
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