Richard Dumas, Former Phoenix Suns Forward, Sentenced To Probation

Richard Dumas, Jr., a former player for the Phoenix Suns, was sentenced to three years probation for theft. Dumas was sentenced for two felony counts of theft under the terms of a plea agreement he entered into with prosecutors in Maricopa County, Arizona.

Dumas had been arrested in December 2013 on eight felony counts of organized retail theft in an operation dubbed “Operation Grinch Stopper 2” by the Marshals Service. Twenty-seven agencies participated in the operation, which swept up 112 suspects, including Richard Dumas. KTAR News reports that Dumas was caught on surveillance video stealing about $800 worth of cigarettes, alcohol, food, DVDs, and shoes from the Luke Air Force Base’s exchange store in 2012.

According to the Phoenix New Times News, this arrest was only the latest in a string of problems Dumas has faced. Richard Dumas had started a promising basketball career, being compared to greats Julius Erving and Connie Hawkins, only to be driven out of the game by drugs.

Richard Dumas is not the only former Phoenix Suns player to get caught for retail theft. In September 2014, Rex Chapman was arrested for stealing and pawning thousands of dollars of merchandise from an Apple store in Scottsdale, Arizona. Several Apple employees identified Chapman as the suspect. He was charged with nine counts of organized retail theft and five counts of trafficking in stolen property.

Dumas, a small forward from Oklahoma State University, was the 46th pick in the 1991 NBA Draft. He was suspended during the 1991-92 season drug policy violations. During his suspension, Dumas played in Israel, returning to the Suns for their epic 1992-93 season.

Dumas contributed to the Suns’ phenomenal winning season, averaging 15.8 points and 4.6 rebounds per game. That year, the Suns made an appearance in the NBA finals, where they lost to the Chicago Bulls in Game 6. Dumas’ career was essentially finished a few years later when he failed to appear for a drug test.

In the fall of 2012, long after losing a fortune and a promising career to drugs, Dumas moved back to Phoenix and started a youth basketball organization, Dumas and Friends Athletics. In a 2013 interview, Richard Dumas is quoted as saying, “I just played for fun and was blessed to do it. I didn’t get caught up in all that. People took it more serious than I wanted. Basketball ain’t my problem. Life was. It was off the court that I had my problem. That’s been a lifelong thing.”

[Image: Phoenix New Times News]