One More Question, Mr. Hoop Star: When Your Assailant Pistol-Whipped You, Did He Mention “MTV Cribs”?

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Remember that rash of NBA player home invasions that was making the news two years ago? I’ve been wondering all this week: Did MTV Cribs play a role in any of the crimes at all?

Let me explain this with a biblical illustration:

hezekiah20exhibiting20his20treasures20toIn the book of Isaiah, chapter 39, King Hezekiah of Israel is visited by Babylonian envoys who’ve heard about his wealth and power. He’s so flattered by their attention, and the distance from which they’ve come to learn more of it, that he gives them, literally, the royal tour, right. After they leave, the prophet, Isaiah, learns of this visit and, in v. 3-7 (NIV), the following occurs:

3 Then Isaiah the prophet went to King Hezekiah and asked, “What did those men say, and where did they come from?”
“From a distant land,” Hezekiah replied. “They came to me from Babylon.”

4 The prophet asked, “What did they see in your palace?”
“They saw everything in my palace,” Hezekiah said. “There is nothing among my treasures that I did not show them.”

5 Then Isaiah said to Hezekiah, “Hear the word of the LORD Almighty: 6 The time will surely come when everything in your palace, and all that your fathers have stored up until this day, will be carried off to Babylon. Nothing will be left, says the LORD. 7 And some of your descendants, your own flesh and blood who will be born to you, will be taken away, and they will become eunuchs in the palace of the king of Babylon.”

Of course, as it always does, the Lord’s word came true, and when the Babyloninans invade Israel, they made a beeline for the palace treasury that their spies had been shown years before.

Now, Isaiah is filled with profound meaning and instruction. But as a kid, what I took from it was this: Don’t show or tell people what you own, or have in your home.

mtvcribsstillWhich brings me back to MTV Cribs, right: When you appear on the show, aren’t you, more than just your home’s contents, basically giving your house’s floor plan to anybody who decides they want to break in? I mean, down to where the furniture sits, so someone doing a home invasion wouldn’t even trip over anything in the dark?

I would never wish anything bad on the Dallas Mavericks’ Josh Howard, nor, to my knowledge, has he been the victim of such a screen7crime. But it was while watching his edition of Cribs recently, above, that what I’d been thinking about for a while sort of crystallized: All you’d need is an iPod with his Cribs episode on it—or even just crude drawings—to find all his stuff; for example, all his expensive leather jackets, stashed in the back of his cedar-lined closet, right. In part, because the entire episode is literally shot with the appearance of being one smooth, Steadicammed take, each edition, effectively, is, more than just a catalog of the house’s contents. It’s a 3D, first-person shooter-style walkthrough of the property.

I haven’t compared a list of the victimized to those who’ve appeared on Cribs, and, to my knowledge, no one whose appeared on the show has been involved in such a crime, so this hypothesis may be full of holes. Plus, I certainly don’t think I’m the first to think of this possibility, or consider it.

cnn-anchorsIn fact, I know I’m not: In 2007, message boards were full of fans hypothesizing a connection between Cribs and the murder, in his home, of Washington Redskins safety Sean Taylor. (Taylor was never featured on the show, however.) On a CNN roundtable about the death in December of that year, reporters Rick Sanchez, right, and Dan Lothian, far right,  had this exchange:

SANCHEZ: You know, you and I were talking a little while ago, Dan, and I’m fascinated by this show you told me about. I don’t know what network it’s on, but it’s called “Crib”?

LOTHIAN: Right. “MTV Cribs.”

SANCHEZ: And what do they — they show their stuff off? Now, where is this world?

LOTHIAN: Exactly. Essentially, it’s inviting the cameras into your home to show them your whips, as they call them, your wheels, your cars…

SANCHEZ: Right.

LOTHIAN: They lay out their $100,000 cars, $40,000, take them into the bedroom and say, hey, look at all my jewelry. Look at all the nice, fancy things I have.

SANCHEZ: And these are athletes as well?

LOTHIAN: These are athletes, entertainers in general.

SANCHEZ: Right.

LOTHIAN: But the big problem that some of the safety experts see here is that you are really inviting troublesome sometimes, with shows like this or other reality shows, where you’re inviting the public in and you’re showing them your privacy and perhaps it might be egging someone on who might be thinking about doing some bad things.

Jemele HillThen, Jemele Hill, of ESPN.com, right—younger, closer to the street than either of the CNN heads—is brought into the conversation by satellite, and, asked to comment, adds this:

HILL: Yes. I mean, some athletes, they are flashy. And you guys mentioned, MTV Cribs. I had one NBA player, very well known. He told me that he would not — that’s the reason he wouldn’t go on “Cribs” is because he didn’t want for everybody to know what kind of cars he had, what kind of things he had in his own. And so, it’s a very real fear on their part.

But some of them as you say, they do invite trouble, hanging out in nightclubs. They have a lot of jewelry, that sort of thing. But there are also some. You know, you have to remember, we have so much public information about athletes. We know their salaries. We know how much they take home. We know where they are. We know their schedules. And a lot of ways, they’re the easiest target in the book.

And, Cribs or not, that has definitely not changed. Y’all brothers need to pack up your stuff and move.

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2 comments ↓

#1 Greg. on 06.22.09 at 3:34 pm

Agreed. I always thought MTV Cribs was the celebrity way to market your home for sale on the DL.

#2 CDF on 06.25.09 at 11:12 am

Redman’s Cribs episode is the default version!

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