PHOENIX SUNS

Rex Chapman’s book chronicling drug addiction battle was written for his kids

Mar 6, 2024, 10:24 AM | Updated: 3:30 pm

Rex Chapman might now be known as a social media influencer, a label he laughs off. Back from his 12-year NBA career, Phoenix Suns fans probably best remember him for that game-tying fadeaway three-pointer against the Seattle Supersonics in the 1997 playoffs.

In between those eras of his life, Chapman battled a drug addition that he chronicles in his newly released memoir, “It’s Hard for Me to Live with Me.”

Chapman, who has spoken openly about his addiction challenges for the past decade, teamed with sportswriter Seth Davis to tell his story to the public at a broader scale.

He told Arizona Sports’ Bickley & Marotta on Wednesday that his drive was to reach his children and those close to him — people he disappointed. Chapman was arrested in 2014 for shoplifting from an Apple Store in Arizona, and that was the turning point for him to seek further help.

“When I got in trouble here in the Valley … that was 10 years ago and our oldest child (Suns video coordinator Zeke Chapman), who you guys know, he was 20. And our youngest was roughly 10,” Chapman said of why he co-wrote the book. “I embarrassed them. I embarrassed myself, my family, my friends … and my friends’ kids who looked up to me.

“I wanted to try to show my kids a better me and try to explain a little bit of where I’ve been.”

Chapman, who played for the Suns from 1996-2000 at the end of his NBA career, said he first landed in rehab shortly after. He said he was eating 40-50 painkillers a day and fought through that addiction through the 2014 arrest.

Once he got his addiction under control after that point, Chapman began opening up about his struggles. Feedback showed him how much of an impact he’s had.

For instance, Chapman was picking up his dog from a care facility in Kentucky when an older women approached him in tears. She said a recent appearance of Chapman on a podcast had given her and her adult son, who was battling an addiction, some form of hope.

“That kind of reaction … I think it’s a little gratifying,” Chapman said.

Everyone has their own addiction story, he said. It didn’t matter that he was a wealthy, former pro athlete with injuries.

“It doesn’t matter how you got there, whether you came by it honestly, so-to-speak, or you went out on a three-day bender and you’re hooked,” Chapman said. “You’re there now. It doesn’t matter how you got there, you are there. And now you gotta get out. It’s all the same trying to get out.”

Comments

Comment guidelines: No name-calling, personal attacks, profanity, or insults. Please keep the conversation civil and help us moderate comments by reporting abuse.
comments powered by Disqus

Phoenix Suns

Timberwolves Nuggets Basketball...

Associated Press

Timberwolves advance after defeating defending NBA champion Nuggets in Game 7

The Timberwolves overcame a 15-point halftime deficit — the largest comeback in a Game 7 in NBA playoff history — in Sunday's win.

20 hours ago

T.J. McConnell...

Associated Press

Pacers punch ticket to Eastern Conference finals with Game 7 win over injured Knicks

The Pacers rode one of the most sensational first halves in Game 7 history to a win over the Knicks, advancing to the Eastern Conference finals.

1 day ago

Head coach Frank Vogel of the Phoenix Suns reacts during the second half of game three of the Weste...

David Veenstra

Suns GM James Jones on why Frank Vogel was fired: ‘We needed to improve in a lot of areas’

James Jones explained why the Suns fired Frank Vogel and why they waited so long to hire new head coach Mike Budenholzer.

3 days ago

Bradley Beal #3, Kevin Durant #35 and Devin Booker #1 of the Phoenix Suns watch from the bench duri...

Nick Borgia

James Jones on Suns’ Big 3: ‘Those guys aren’t going anywhere’

The Suns GM told Arizona Sports’ Burns & Gambo on Friday that there are no plans of trading Devin Booker, Kevin Durant or Bradley Beal.

3 days ago

Mike Budenholzer and James Jones pose for a picture...

Dan Bickley

Suns’ Mike Budenholzer has a chance to reach new heights in Phoenix

Mike Budenholzer has already notched his first victory as Suns head coach. He dominated a must-win introductory press conference Friday.

3 days ago

Phoenix Suns head coach Mike Budenholzer is introducted on Friday, May 17, 2024....

Kevin Zimmerman

Why Suns coach Mike Budenholzer might do what Frank Vogel couldn’t

Phoenix Suns head coach Mike Budenholzer played to a frustrated fan base. He gave reason to believe why he can do what Frank Vogel didn't.

3 days ago

Rex Chapman’s book chronicling drug addiction battle was written for his kids