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Former Seattle SuperSonic loses million-dollar home to foreclosure, refuses to leave (video)

Feb 22, 2013, 4:21 PM EDT

robertswift AP

Remember Robert Swift? He was the 12th pick in the 2004 NBA Draft, coming right out of high school in Bakersfield and taken ahead of such players as Al Jefferson, Jameer Nelson, Josh Smith and J.R. Smith. But due in large part to a series of injuries, six years later the 7-foot-1 center was playing for the D League’s Bakersfield Jam, and ended his career in 2011 in Japan with the Tokyo Apaches. During his journey from a 19-year-old phenom to Japanese ball, Swift grew long hair and covered himself with tattoos, capping one of the more spectacular NBA non-success stories.

The tale gets sadder. Swift still lives near Seattle in the home he purchased in Sammamish when he was with the Sonics, but couldn’t keep up with the mortgage. Now the house has been through foreclosure and has been sold to another party — but Swift, who made more than $11 million during his NBA career, refuses to leave.

The new owner bought it in January for nearly half the original price.

KOMO News tried to speak with Swift on Wednesday, and a woman who said she was his girlfriend said he couldn’t come out because he was sleeping.

The new owner has gone to court and, according to records, Swift has gone past his grace period to leave.

He has one final deadline at the end of the month. After that, he faces possible eviction by force.

“He will have to respond to the sheriff I’m sure,” the new owner said.

  1. joenash72 - Feb 23, 2013 at 2:24 AM

    Sonics announcer Kevin Calabro recently mentioned on his radio show something about swifts family were a bunch of leaches.

  2. joenash72 - Feb 23, 2013 at 2:25 AM

    Leeches, not mike leach

  3. b0nni3 - Feb 23, 2013 at 5:22 AM

    Is the “Nelson” mentioned in the second sentence of the last paragraph the same “Nelson” from the second sentence of the first paragraph? Jameer Nelson?
    “The tale gets sadder. Nelson still lives near Seattle in the home he purchased in Sammamish when he was with the Sonics.”
    I don’t remember Nelson ever playing for the Sonics.
    Did he, at some point, own the house now occupied by Robert Swift?
    Is he also losing his Seattle area home because of foreclosure?
    Can Rick Chandler explain the connection between Swift and Nelson?
    Because, the only connection that’s obvious to me is that they were both drafted in 2004 and Swift was picked up first.

  4. joenash72 - Feb 23, 2013 at 7:00 PM

    I think the Nelson thing was a typo. I saw it too but it’s gone now…