Robert Swift went straight to the NBA out of high school. Since that time it's been all down hill.
The Bakersfield, CA. hometown hero made 10 million dollars over his career since 2004 — now, no one knows where he is after he was finally forced out of his foreclosed Seattle area mansion, a structure he essentially abandoned in ruins.
Below is the stunning information out of Seattle via Jon Humbert. You can also see the local news story with video here.
SAMMAMISH, Wash. — It wasn't the pile of beer bottles or the smashed glass on the fireplace. It wasn't even the El Camino sitting in the driveway, unable to move because it has no engine.
It was the smell.
"The first thing you get when you walk in the door is kind of whiff of whatever is festering in here," said Jessica Ko-Dalzell. She and her husband Eric now own a mansion on a hill Sammamish.
The house was owned by former Seattle Sonic and first-round pick Robert Swift. He lost the home to foreclosure last year. The Dalzells bought it, but Swift has been living in it ever since.
Swift, a 7-foot center, was born in 1985 in Bakersfield and played at Garces through his junior year before attending Bakersfield High School. He went pro out of high school, making his NBA debut in 2004.
He last played in the NBA in 2009, for the Seattle team that became the Oklahoma City Thunder. Swift averaged 4.3 points and 3.9 rebounds in 97 career games.
"He never came to the door, he never talked to any of us. We came multiple times. We sent him letters. We left him letters," Ko-Dalzell said.
At some point this past weekend, Swift and others moved out of the home. The Dalzells had their first full look inside Monday.
"It was a shocker. It was definitely a shocker," Eric said.
Animal feces clogs the deck. Walls are punched out on different levels of the house. One even has an autograph. Pizza boxes and beer bottles are piled on the kitchen granite.
Multiple guns were found in the home. Some appear to be air guns, but live ammo was also found. Dalzell said they also found a handgun.
A makeshift shooting range is in the basement storage area. Eric Dalzell said load-bearing beams have graze marks from bullets, and part of the home's foundation appeared to stop some of the slugs.
A box of letters from colleges around the nation sat pushed against a downstairs wall. It looked like another trash box. Crests and logos of UCLA, Arizona, UConn and others are jammed together as untold memories of what could have been for Swift.
He never attended one of those powerhouse schools. He didn't even open some of the letters.
After injuries and a stint playing in Japan, he moved back to his mansion in Sammamish. Only now, with the threat of eviction looming, Swift left the house on the hill.
The house that wasn't his anymore.
Not a way you want a former professional athlete to go out. No one is sure where Swift is. He could be homeless for all we know. If anything, we can only hope Swift is safe — more importantly, we hope that others will stay safe. Anyone who lives around feces while taking target practice in their basement can't be too mentally stable.
Photo Credit: Getty