The dramatic story of Marcus Camby’s family getting kidnapped during the 2001 Playoffs
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The dramatic story of Marcus Camby’s family getting kidnapped during the 2001 Playoffs

Marcus Camby is a name most NBA fans are very familiar with. The #2 pick of the iconic 1996 Draft made his name in the league with his defensive ability, leading the NBA in blocks per game four times, notching four All-Defensive selections and one DPOY award. Mostly known for his days with the Knicks and the Nuggets, the 6’11” center was a valuable player for 17 years, but one of the most dramatic and notable moments in Camby’s career happened in 2001 off the court.

The 2001 Playoffs

Back in 2001, a young Camby was an integral part of the New York Knicks, helping them win 48 games and get to the playoffs, where they would face Vince Carter and the Toronto Raptors. This was a matchup many viewed as the most competitive series of the first round, and it delivered. 

The Knicks would steal Game 1 in Toronto 92-85, with Camby playing an essential part and scoring 8 points, alongside 18 rebounds and 4 blocks. But only a few hours after this game, things would go down south quickly for Camby and his family.

The kidnapping

A guy by the name of Troy Crooms broke into Camby’s childhood home, holding the centers’ mom and two sisters as hostages. Crooms, who already had criminal history behind him, didn’t just break into this house by accident. He was an ex-boyfriend of one of Camby’s sisters, Monica. Terry would tie the three women and hold them at knifepoint, with Monica Camby suffering some severe injuries.

Luckily they somehow managed to call 911 and notify the police about the kidnapping. Marcus was quickly notified and rushed to the scene in the middle of the night. Crooms refused to talk to the police and demanded Marcus comes in, probably trying to request some type of money in exchange for his family’s safety. But the police weren’t letting Marcus anywhere near for his own safety.

After eight hours of negotiations and drama, Crooms eventually surrendered, and everybody managed to leave the house. Marcus’s sister Monica was rushed to the hospital because of some deep wounds and cuts, but in the end, she was alright. Crooms was faced with numerous charges and sentenced to 18 years in prison.

In the end, everything got resolved in the same morning, but the emotional drama of the whole situation, mixed with seeing your family members injured, left a huge emotional scar on Marcus Camby. The Knicks could simply see the anguish and helplessness in Camby’s face.

Marcus was not in the right state of mind, as he failed to deliver his usual production, even missing Game 3. That would play a significant part in the Raptors comeback and 3-2 win of the series. Camby simply couldn’t get his focus back in time and help his Knicks win. It was terrible timing, but nobody could really blame Marcus.

A few years later, Camby got traded to the Nuggets and started playing the best basketball of his career, leaving this dramatic event in the past. Situations like this usually only happen in movies, but back in 2001, Camby faced some real-life drama. Happily, for him, he moved on from that, and his family got out safe in the end.