Craig Hodges is known as a 3-point shooting legend — the only player apart from Larry Bird to win the 3-point shooting contest three consecutive times. Not to mention how critical he was in the Chicago Bulls two of three titles in the early 90s. There's no question he's a winner on the court.
Unfortunately, we cannot say the same about his life outside basketball, particularly his marriage. While it's nobody's business what goes on between husband and wife, it's difficult to keep things mum when a third party is involved — especially if it's R&B sensation R.Kelly.
Craig Hodges' NBA money jump-started R. Kelly's music career
While Hodges was making a name for himself in the NBA, his marriage was in turmoil. As recalled by his wife Carlita Hodges via the Chicago Defender, she suffered "abuse and infidelity for many years." This triggered Carlita to run away from the pain by turning to a man named Robert Kelly, a young talent who was embarking on a music career. According to Carlita, R. Kelly made her happy. And Carlita reciprocated this by helping Kelly with the difficult road to the music industry. Besides moral support, Carlita used his husband's NBA money to buy R. Kelly's first keyboard and drum machine.
"After fighting our intense sexual attraction, R. Kelly and I decided to take our friendship to a different level, and although I cannot go into too many details about our affair, I will say that we were hot for each other, but we also had a real friendship outside of the bedroom. He wrote songs about me that have never been recorded, and I bought him his first keyboard and drum machine. We also went on a few vacations together. I bought him a great deal of things, but I was a show off piece for him, and after a while, that didn't make me feel good," Carlita Hodges said.
Finally at ease
In an interview with DJ Vlad, Craig Hodges shared his thoughts on the matter. Some three decades after the affair between his wife and R. Kelly, Hodges is at ease with speaking about that dark chapter in his life. In fact, Hodges doesn't seem to hold any grudges towards R. Kelly and his wife.
"To me, it's funny. I can really laugh at it because for one, I know where my mindset was. I understand what livelihood was about. I understand what the future is about. In fact I had no problem helping R. Kelly. Not at all. My brother in law brought him to me and I saw the talent right away to the point that I brought him to music guys at that time," Hodges said.
The Hodges-R.Kelly drama is definitely one of the more interesting off-court stories we've heard. Usually, musicians and basketball players are linked by their mutual respect for one another. Ballers listen to music as they put in the work. The beats keep them company in those long and usually lonely nights in the gym. Musicians, for their part, take inspiration from the smooth, sometimes relentless rhythms of the game.
In Hodges's case, R. Kelly did not just take inspiration from him but also his wife and his hard-earned money.