Trouble In Charlotte
In November 1999, Coleman drove his truck through a tractor trailer. His female passenger suffered lacerations, and his teammate Eldridge Recasner sustained a partially collapsed lung and a fractured shoulder socket. Coleman refused to take a Breathalyzer after the accident, claiming that he was being singled out because he was a celebrity. Showing little remorse, he told the press, "People act like nobody ever had an accident before. I understand that we as athletes are under the microscope, but we're human beings just like everyone else. If one of you guys goes out and has an accident, nothing is ever said. But as soon as one of us does it, it's magnified."
Charlotte fans seemed to have different ideas about the situation. Coleman was enthusiastically booed during the team's season opener, and coach Paul Silas publicly acknowledged that Coleman's attitude and behavior posed problems for the team.
Things didn't improve much for Coleman in Charlotte. When he showed up 30 pounds overweight at training camp in 2000, his coaches were concerned. The extra weight likely contributed to various injuries during the season, including a knee injury that required surgery, a sprained ankle, and a strained back. Coleman had an awful season, and his attitude remained sullen. Some Hornets spoke out publicly, indicating the team would be better without Coleman. Coleman did act as a mentor for some of the younger players on the team, but overall his presence was not appreciated. By 2001, the Charlotte team was looking to dump Coleman.
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