Hooplaw: Jordan Hill’s charge

Below is legal analysis of Jordan Hill’s predicament according to a local criminal defense attorney, Joel Hayter:

The charge that Jordan Hill faces, like any felony, is serious.  However, all we know thus far is the girlfriend’s accusations through the media.  It was a good move for Hill on his part for not commenting, other than to say he is saddened by the allegations and is cooperating with authorities.  Until more evidence is gathered, there are many questions a criminal defense lawyer might ask.  Are these pictures of her alleged bruises legitimate?  Did she see a doctor who can vouch for her alleged injuries?  Does she have a motive to falsely accuse Hill—perhaps not being happy with his response when asked about their future together?  Anyway, I will let Hill’s lawyers sort that out.

Interestingly, if the girlfriend did not claim that Hill choked her but only hit or kicked her, he would likely only be charged with a Class A misdemeanor assault and face a maximum jail sentence of one year.  In 2009, the Texas legislature made it a third degree felony to choke a family member or dating partner.  This recent change in the law is why Hill faces up to 10 years in prison rather than a maximum of one year in jail.

Joel Hayter, Criminal Defense Attorney, The Schaffer Firm, Houston Texas, joelhayterlaw@gmail.com

in essays

So you’ve been chugging Cheez Doodles and Mountain Dew Code Red for a week and a half since the Rockets’ freefall from playoff contention changed from a reason to avoid Sportscenter for the night to a reason to avoid anyone who knows that you follow the Rockets closely so as not to endure the barrage of “How bout them Rockets?” comments. It’s OK; we understand and promise not to totally freak out because of the weird cheese dust encrusted on your hands. All is well because the NBA Playoffs have finally come to save us all from the doom of watching the Charlotte Bobcats lose anymore, and this tournament’s first round can be cleanly dissected into three groups:


  • Los Angeles Clippers versus Memphis Grizzlies: The only series in which I genuinely feel silly picking either team and acting as if I can support such a claim with certainty, this one might collapse into itself as the nexis of all NBA diehard viewership in the first round. Blake Griffin has recently shown himself to not only be the Boy Prince of Dunkitude, posting a couple of high-efficiency scoring outbursts in a pair of losses to the Hawks and Clippers; while a 36 or a 29-point-night might not seem like much, the variety of ways (face-up jumpers, step-throughs in the post) in which he scored the points finally made him appear to be a worthy second option to the wizardry Chris Paul’s largely left in his pocket until fourth quarters this year. But I’m pretty sure the rest of the world will quickly forget about the Clippers’ highly efficient, if sometimes unwatchable, offense (ranked fourth leaguewide) once it’s vaulted into the rusted, gaping maw of the Grizzlies’ D, one that seems almost naturally made for the rigors (read: laxer rule enforcement by officials) of the postseason. Just a year ago, this same Grizzlies team sans its best perimeter threat in Rudy Gay took it to another high-powered offense without a lot of muscle in the middle, but that Spurs squad didn’t have one of the league’s best players or a couple of benchwarmers in Kenyon Martin and Reggie Evans who would love to get equally as violent as the Grizzlies’ boys. I like both of these two teams too much to want to see this one in the first round, but someone must win, and despite home court advantage, I’m inclined to give this one to the Clippers in six games. [read more…]

in columns

Postgame interviews: 04.26.12

Goran Dragic, Greg Smith, and Patrick Patterson after the jump.

[read more…]

in multimedia

The DraftDay $5 Challenge

We’ve teamed up with DraftDay, a fantasy sports website that offers one-day fantasy games, to give our readers a chance to play a FREE 1 on 1 fantasy game where the winner gets $5! DraftDay is different from other fantasy sports sites in that its games last for only one day. You don’t need to manage a team for an entire season, deal with unlucky injuries, or play everyday if you don’t feel like it.

Here’s how the challenge works:

All you need to do is click on this link and follow the instructions at DraftDay. You’ll be asked to choose your sport and then will get to choose 5 players to add to your roster for that evening. After setting up your account (which only takes 30 seconds), you’re ready to go! If your team of players scores more fantasy points than your opponents team, you’ll win $5!

Here’s how the drafting page looks:

click to enlarge

When your game starts, you’ll get to watch your live scoring update automatically. Here’s how it looks:

click to enlarge

After you win your $5, you can use it in a variety of games that DraftDay offers. They pay out thousands of dollars per day in real cash prizes.

Click here to take the DraftDay $5 Challenge!

in from the editor

Giving out awards for the 2012 season

The 2011-12 Houston Rockets season ended with a healthy mix of crashing and burning. They held the playoff key in their hands for most of the last month, but instead of using it for their own gain, they decided to neatly present it as a generous gift for the Utah Jazz. Super cool.

But the season wasn’t a total waste of time, just as no year before it ever is. Since Christmas we learned so much about this cast of characters—one of the league’s most eclectic collection of cultural backgrounds and differing personalities. When the season began, first year coach Kevin McHale was given a roster that featured a pouting, highly paid one dimensional player who’d eventually find himself in a mini-power struggle with the All-Star caliber point guard, and a wild pack of young, underachieving athletes trying to make Houston their place of self-resuscitation. Over half the roster had either been left for dead by a past employer or had yet to find their niche in the league. To make matters worse, all of them were too young to know the first thing about  correcting a problem they didn’t know how to identify. It wasn’t a good situation, but as the year wore on they played less like a group of individuals trying to change a personal reputation, and more like a cohesive team that trusted one another, played unselfishly on every possession, and ended up being pretty good at winning basketball games.

For whatever reason, the wheels unhinged from the wagon three quarters of its way over the season’s rickety bridge, and everybody fell off the side. The playoffs just weren’t meant to be. Here are my individual awards for a memorable season.  [read more…]

in essays