KEY POINTS

  • Kermit Washington is begging for his release in prison due to COVID-19 threat
  • Washington was sentenced to six years in prison after his involvement in a scam
  • Washington "almost killed" Rudy Tomjanovich during an on-court scuffle in 1977

Former NBA veteran and All-Star Kermit Washington is begging for his release in prison, fearing he might die by contracting the Coronavirus disease. According to reports, the ex-Los Angeles Laker is insisting on a house arrest transfer arrangement as he stated that being in a closed facility puts him at a high risk of getting infected.

TMZ Sports shared the development in which they mentioned the 68-year-old was asking the court to grant him freedom, instead of the original plan of transferring him and the other inmates into a new cell.

In the documents gathered, Washington was said to describe his situation as being part of a mass, who are at a "high risk of death or serious illness from COVID-19". He justified the present state by attributing the “extreme rate of infection” in prisons to the rising number of inmate casualties.

Based on the data collected by the Marshall Project, there have been close to 10,000 positive cases of COVID-19 inside prisons with an estimated 140 people surrendering to the disease.

Washington, who played in the NBA for 10 years, was sentenced to six years in prison after he was found guilty of scheming a charity scam, where he allegedly took about $1 million. The fake funding was supposedly allocated for African people, particularly those who are below the poverty line and those who are dealing with HIV.

He was quietly serving his sentence until the pandemic came in, ushering fears in his mind that his limited-year verdict might turn into an unforced death penalty because of the virus.

Sounding provoked, Washington was quoted as saying, "Only the court can correct this injustice and protect me and my life."

Washington was selected fifth overall by the Lakers in the 1973 Draft. Overall, he had stints in five different NBA teams – the Lakers, Boston Celtics, San Diego Clippers, Portland Trail Blazers, and Golden State Warriors.

The 6'8 forward was named an All-Star in 1980 and was selected to the NBA All-Defensive Second Team twice before deciding to hang his jersey up in 1982. He made a comeback in 1987, only to last for a season and play in just eight games before being cut.

But besides the few achievements, Washington was more famously known as the guy who “almost killed” Rudy Tomjanovich in an on-court scuffle between the Lakers and the Houston Rockets in 1977.

Based on accounts, Washington landed a punch on Tomjanovich during the altercation. As a result, the latter allegedly suffered “severe medical problems”.  

Years later, the horrifying incident had become water under the bridge as Tomjanovich made his full recovery en route to being an All-Star, a champion head coach and a Hall of Famer.