If you’re a six-foot-eight, forty-something male looking for a date, you could try cruising the bars on singles nights, hit up your friends for possible leads, or just getting involved in the community.
Or you could pose as a former NBA player and analyst on CRAIGSLIST.
At least that’s what Boston-area resident Ronnie Craven did when he posed as 10-year NBA vet and former Magic radio analyst Jeff Turner. From the SEATTLE P-I:
The woman who dated Craven said she met who she thought was Turner on a dating Web site and the two went out about 12 times. She was convinced Craven was really Turner, a 10-year NBA veteran who played with Michael Jordan and Patrick Ewing on the 1984 U.S. Olympic team. Turner, 46, now a high school coach in Orlando, retired from the NBA in 1996.
“He was supposedly in Florida with his sick mother,” the woman said, when asked what raised her suspicion about Craven. “He was very attentive, and all of a sudden he just stopped while he was in Florida. And it let my mind wander a little and in the information age, I Googled him.”
It’s amazing that any woman would wait this long before Googling someone THAT SHE MET ON THE FREAKING INTERNET. Seriously, if she had spent ten minutes in front of the computer, she could have found the guy’s social security number.
The woman, who asked that her name not be used in this story…then called Turner, one inch taller and three years older than Craven, who reacted in disbelief. Turner called NBA security, which has been investigating the matter for the past several weeks.
Turner, naturally, couldn’t believe it, but since Craven didn’t apply for any credit cards or enjoy financial gain, he couldn’t legally press charges for identity theft. Craven was sent a C-and-D from the Sonics’ ownership group. When contacted by Gary Washburn for the P-I, he came clean.
“This wasn’t meant to be (anything negative) toward the Sonics,” said Craven, who said he has three daughters, is separated from his wife and works in property management. “People get lied to all the time. Did I do anything illegal against the Sonics? No. Did I go out and represent the Sonics in any fashion? I’m not actually proposing that I did that. Did I do this for the broad? Yes.”
One the one hand, what a bastard. I’m shocked that his relationship with his wife didn’t pan out. But on the other hand, there’s no real harm that came to this woman, other than feeling like an idiot. And frankly, that’s deserved. I wonder if this was the same girl that thought she was dating Ben Roethlisberger back in 2005, or the one who loaned money to a phony Pedro Martinez in 2007.
But this guy’s ruse was elaborate, and his fake stories detailed, such as this ditty from his visit to the SOMERVILLE NEWS offices.
According to [reporter Jack] Nikas, Craven walked into the newspaper’s office wearing a Sonics coaching shirt and told Nikas he was a coach and scout. He claimed he met [Sonics general manager Sam] Presti when the Sonics GM was a youth basketball player and tried recruiting Presti to Framingham State, a Division III school 25 miles west of Boston where Craven said he was the head coach.
Craven said the recruiting process occurred during Presti’s senior year of high school in 1993-94. According to Framingham State’s Web site, the coach then was former Boston Celtics player Togo Palazzi. When confronted with those facts, Craven admitted he was actually Palazzi’s assistant for six years. Craven told the paper Presti passed on Framingham to attend Emerson College. Presti, however, began his career at Virginia Wesleyan before transferring to Emerson as a sophomore.
Craven also told the Somerville News that he played at Saint Bonaventure University in Olean, N.Y. — another lie.
Sounds like a lot of work to fool a woman. Why not just fool the entire city of Seattle into thinking that their team isn’t leaving? That seems easier.
Free advice, buddy: just buy an expensive car next time. And tell her you like to cuddle. Chicks dig that.