Former NBA player Darius Miles answers 'what the hell happened' and it's a lot

Darius Miles teamed up once again with best friend and former Los Angeles Clippers teammate Quentin Richardson to answer one question everyone asks: What the hell happened to Darius Miles?

“Dudes like me ain’t supposed to talk about this type of stuff,” Miles wrote to open his 6,500 word essay edited by Richardson in the Players’ Tribune. “I’m about to tell you some real s–t.”

Miles, 37, said he suffered depression after his mother died, shortly after he left the NBA. The young star was drafted straight out of high school by the Clippers with the third pick in the 2000 NBA draft and retired in 2009 at the age of 27 with knee issues. He played with the Cleveland Cavaliers, Portland Trail Blazers, Boston Celtics and Memphis Grizzlies but filed for bankruptcy in 2016.

Miles answers a multitude of questions along the way, including ones fans didn’t know they had, before getting to the crux of the piece.

Miles’ mother’s death ‘broke’ him

Basketball was an escape for the man who grew up on the dangerous streets of East St. Louis, Illinois. And his mother, Ethel, was his everything, the one who had his back. So when they both left him, he fell into a deep depression.

His professional career was over just as many other non-athlete’s careers his age are just beginning. A few years later Ethel lost her third battle with cancer.

“When she died, I ain’t gonna lie, it broke me,” he wrote.

Miles said instead of cleaning out her house after the funeral, he stayed and didn’t leave for three years despite working his entire life to get out. He didn’t answer outreach from anyone, including Richardson, and became nocturnal and paranoid. He was losing money to shady business deals and carried his gun at all times.

“The worst part was that I had people who owed me a lot of money, and I just got to a point where I was seeing red, for real,” he wrote. “I felt like I was gonna hurt somebody, or I was gonna wind up in jail.”

18 PHOTOS
Darius Miles throughout his NBA career
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Darius Miles throughout his NBA career
MINNEAPOLIS - JUNE 28: Darius Miles drafted by the Los Angeles Clippers shakes NBA Commissioner David Stern's hand during the 2000 NBA Draft on June 28, 2000 at the Target Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2000 NBAE (Photo by David Sherman/NBAE via Getty Images)
MINNEAPOLIS, MN - JUNE 28: Darius Miles #21 of the LA Clippers after being selected during the 2000 NBA Draft on June 28, 2000 at Target Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2000 NBAE (Photo by NBA Photos/NBAE via Getty Images)
2 Nov 2000: A closeup of Darius Miles #21 of the Los Angeles Clippers looking on during the game against the Vancouver Grizzlies at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, California. The Grizzlies defeated the Clippers 99-91. NOTE TO USER: It is expressly understood that the only rights Allsport are offering to license in this Photograph are one-time, non-exclusive editorial rights. No advertising or commercial uses of any kind may be made of Allsport photos. User acknowledges that it is aware that Allsport is an editorial sports agency and that NO RELEASES OF ANY TYPE ARE OBTAINED from the subjects contained in the photographs.Mandatory Credit: Stephen Dunn /Allsport
29 Dec 2001: Darius Miles #21 of the Los Angeles Clippers tries to get to the basket past Paul Pierce #34 of the Boston Celtocs during the first half at Staples Center in Los Angeles, California. DIGITAL IMAGE. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledgesand agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images Licence Agreement. Mandatory copyright notice: Copyright 2001 NBAE. Mandatory Credit: Robert Mora/ NBAE/ Getty Images
DENVER -DECEMBER 2: Darius Miles #21 of the Cleveland Cavaliers is defended by Carmelo Anthony #15 of the Denver Nuggets during the game at the Pepsi Center in Denver, Colorado on December 2, 2003. The Nuggets won 115-103. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement Copyright 2003 NBAE (Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES - DECEMBER 3: Quentin Richardson #3 of the Los Angeles Clippers (L) stands next to his former teammate Darius Miles #21 of the Cleveland Cavaliers during the game at Staples Center on December 3, 2003 in Los Angeles, California. The Clippers won 90-80. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images)
CLEVELAND - DECEMBER 28: Rasheed Wallace #30 of the Portland Trail Blazers shoots over Darius Miles #21 of the Cleveland Cavaliers on December 28, 2003 at Gund Arena in Cleveland, Ohio. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by David Liam Kyle/NBAE via Getty Images)
CHICAGO - DECEMBER 20: Darius Miles #23 of the Portland TrailBlazers moves the ball during the game against the Chicago Bulls at the United Center on December 20, 2004 in Chicago, Illinois. The Bulls won 92-87. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2004 NBAE (Photo by Joe Murphy/NBAE via Getty Images)
CHICAGO - DECEMBER 20: Darius Miles #23 of the Portland TrailBlazers shoots over Antonio Davis #34 and Luol Deng #9 of the Chicago Bulls during the game at the United Center on December 20, 2004 in Chicago, Illinois. The Bulls won 92-87. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2004 NBAE (Photo by Joe Murphy/NBAE via Getty Images)
WASHINGTON - NOVEMBER 30: Darius Miles #23 of the Portland Trail Blazers looks on during a game against the Washington Wizards at MCI Center on November 30, 2005 in Washington, D.C. The Wizards won 96-89. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2005 NBAE (Photo by Mitchell Layton/NBAE via Getty Images)
PORTLAND, OR - DECEMBER 2: Darius Miles #23 of the Portland Trail Blazers drives against the Indiana Pacers during the game on December 2, 2005 at the Rose Garden Arena in Portland, Oregon. The Pacers won 98-78. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Copyright 2005 NBAE (Photo by Sam Forencich/NBAE via Getty Images)
EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - OCTOBER 16: Darius Miles #7 of the Boston Celtics during game against the New Jersey Nets on October 16, 2008 at the IZOD Center in East Rutherford, New Jersey. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2008 NBAE (Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images)
BOSTON - OCTOBER 17: Darius Miles #7 of the Boston Celtics looks up court during warmups before the preseason game against the New York Knicks on October 17, 2008 at the TD Banknorth Garden in Boston, Massachusetts. The Knicks won 104-97. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2008 NBAE (Photo by Brian Babineau/NBAE via Getty Images)
BOSTON - OCTOBER 17: Darius Miles #7 of the Boston Celtics sits on the sidelines during the preseason game against the New York Knicks on October 17, 2008 at the TD Banknorth Garden in Boston, Massachusetts. The Knicks won 104-97. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2008 NBAE (Photo by Brian Babineau/NBAE via Getty Images)
BOSTON - OCTOBER 19: (L-R) Yi Jianlian #9 and Trenton Hassell #44 of the New Jersey Nets boxes out Darius Miles #7 of the Boston Celtics during the preseason game on October 19, 2008 at the TD Banknorth Garden in Boston, Massachusetts. The Celtics won 83-66. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice : Copyright 2008NBAE (Photo by Brian Babineau/NBAE via Getty Images)
SACRAMENTO, CA - MARCH 27: Darius Miles #3 of the Memphis Grizzlies looks on during the game against the Sacramento Kings at Arco Arena on March 27, 2009 in Sacramento, California. The Grizzlies won 113-95. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2009 NBAE (Photo by Rocky Widner/NBAE via Getty Images)
MEMPHIS - FEBRUARY 7: (L-R) Darius Miles #3 and Marc Gasol #33 of the Memphis Grizzlies watch from the sidelines during the game against the Toronto Raptors on February 7, 2009 at FedExForum in Memphis, Tennessee. The Grizzlies won 78-70. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2009 NBAE (Photo by Joe Murphy/NBAE via Getty Images)
OAKLAND, CA - MARCH 30: Darius Miles #3 of the Memphis Grizzlies warms up prior to the game against the Golden State Warriors at Oracle Arena on March 30, 2009 in Oakland, California. The Grizzlies won 114-109. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2009 NBAE (Photo by Rocky Widner/NBAE via Getty Images)
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Miles said he knows “dudes like me aren’t supposed to talk about depression,” but if people like him were struggling with it, anyone could.

One night after years of feeling trapped he called Richardson in Florida and drove 14 hours straight in a U-Haul to move in down the street. Now he can sleep at night, doesn’t have to carry a gun and tries to get better every day.

What happened at Alonzo Mourning’s house in 2000?

Miles survived life in East St. Louis, even when someone put a gun to his head while he was playing basketball in the street. Then an 18-year-old Miles and 19-year-old Richardson were invited to Zo’s Summer Groove, a party at Alonzo Mourning’s place.

After a bout of adult chicken pox, Miles joined Richardson on some Jet Skis and accidentally hit the edge of a boat. He flipped into the air as if he were in “The Matrix,” Richardson said.

And I can just see the newspapers flashing in my mind, like, NBA ROOKIE DIES IN DAMN JET SKI ACCIDENT IN SOUTH BEACH.

Miles then had a scare with seaweed, calling for help from Richardson to come get him.

How did Miles and Richardson sign with Jordan Brand so young?

Miles and Richardson were clothed head to toe in free And1 apparel the company was sending after the draft when a concerned Michael Jordan approached them during his camp. More like a disappointed pops, in the young players’ minds.

Jordan asked if they wanted to be wearing Nike, which, of course they did.

MJ turns around, super cool, and he just goes, “Alright, I got you.”

Two days later, their agent called surprised there were contracts from Jordan Brand and that was that. The entire family had Js.

What was the two taps to the head?

No, it wasn’t a gang sign or a signal for aliens to arrive. It all stemmed from Miles being too young to do adult things, like hit night clubs, so the two frequented Westchester High basketball games in Los Angeles.

Players at Westchester would throw up their fists after a 3-pointer, so as a shoutout to them Miles and Richardson did the two taps one night.

Cue Richardson:

We started a movement, all because D was trying to mess around and go to prom.

Donald Sterling and Shaquille O’Neal also make cameos in Miles’ wild story from the streets to the NBA to the palm trees in Florida.

7 PHOTOS
Sights from around NBA opening week
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Sights from around NBA opening week
BOSTON, MA - OCTOBER 14: Markelle Fultz #20 of the Philadelphia 76ers dribbles the ball while guarded by Terry Rozier #12 of the Boston Celtics during a game at TD Garden on October 16, 2018 in Boston, Massachusetts. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Adam Glanzman/Getty Images)
CHARLOTTE, NC - OCTOBER 17: Giannis Antetokounmpo #34 of the Milwaukee Bucks drives to the basket against Kemba Walker #15 of the Charlotte Hornets during their game at Spectrum Center on October 17, 2018 in Charlotte, North Carolina. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
TORONTO, ON - OCTOBER 17: Kawhi Leonard #2 of the Toronto Raptors shoots the ball as Rodney Hood #1 and George Hill #3 of the Cleveland Cavaliers defend during the second half of the NBA season opener at Scotiabank Arena on October 17, 2018 in Toronto, Canada. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images)
Minnesota Timberwolves guard Andrew Wiggins (22) is blocked by San Antonio Spurs forward Rudy Gay (22) as he tries to score during the first half of an NBA basketball game, Wednesday, Oct. 17, 2018, in San Antonio. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)
Boston Celtics' Daniel Theis (27) battles Philadelphia 76ers' Dario Saric (9) and Amir Johnson (5) for a rebound during the second half of an NBA basketball game in Boston, Tuesday, Oct 16, 2018. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer)
Utah Jazz guard Donovan Mitchell, center, stuffs as Sacramento Kings' Willie Cauley-Stein, left, and Yogi Ferrell, right, look on during the second half of an NBA basketball game Wednesday, Oct. 17, 2018, in Sacramento, Calif. The Jazz won 123-117. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli)
Minnesota Timberwolves guard Jeff Teague (0) dives over San Antonio Spurs guard Marco Belinelli (18) for a loose ball during the second half of an NBA basketball game, Wednesday, Oct. 17, 2018, in San Antonio. San Antonio won 112-108. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)
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