Ex-NBA center riding high after stolen bike found
At 7-foot-6, former NBA center Shawn Bradley needs just about
everything custom-made, from clothes and chairs to countertops and
It’s why he was bummed when his custom-build Trek road bicycle,
complete with an 80 centimeter carbon fiber-aluminum frame, was
stolen last Friday.
”There’s no way they could have ridden it away,” Bradley said
Thursday morning. ”It’s kind of baffling. I think it will turn
He was right.
A random search of a residence by state probation and parole
officials turned up the bike Thursday afternoon in the town of
Murray, where Bradley has a home, police said. Joshua Carter, 34,
was arrested on suspicion of possession of stolen property and
felony theft, Murray police Sgt. Brian Wright said.
Bradley, who has been riding the bicycle since packing on the
pounds after his retirement following 13 NBA seasons, was thrilled
at the news.
Authorities wouldn’t reveal a motive for the theft, but Bradley
speculated that anybody who took it simply was looking for
something they could pawn for quick cash.
They certainly weren’t going to ride it – as it is about 50
percent larger than what a normal-sized person would ride. Trek
never even included a serial number when it built the bike in 2005
because it is so unique.
”I’m guessing he just walked it away,” Wright said of the
suspect, who stands just 6-foot.
Bradley’s home on 3 acres is protected by an electronic gate,
and backs up to Little Cottonwood Creek.
Bradley found it strange that only the bicycle, black with a
”76” painted on the frame to denote Bradley’s height, was taken
Friday morning from a barn next to the gated home. Seven other
bicycles used by his six children and wife weren’t touched, nor
were his boat, tools or even a $200 pair of Oakley sunglasses
stuffed into his bicycle helmet.
”It’s a stolen bike, not the end of the world,” Bradley said
before knowing it had been recovered. ”It’s just kind of a weird
story. It’s not like I can go down to the bike shop and buy a new
bike. It’d be the same if my clothes were stolen.”
Inside his home, countertops and doorways are raised and an
oversized animal-print chair sits behind his large desk. With a
44-inch inseam, even his pants must be custom-made.
Bradley took up cycling because he needed to get healthy again.
He had taken time off following his NBA career to let his body
recover, but also packed on the pounds, ballooning from his playing
weight of 275 pounds to 335.
”I just wasn’t feeling good,” Bradley said.
Bicycling the roads and canyons of Utah was the solution.
He’s shed about 30 pounds of fat after making bicycling part of
a daily routine. He’s logged several thousand miles, including many
”century rides” – rides of 100 miles or more. Bradley also rode
from Logan, Utah, to Jackson Hole, Wyo., last year.
”It’s changed my body (composition) and when I ride the bike in
the morning, I want to eat healthy the rest of the day. It’s a
mental game I play with myself,” he said.
The 39-year-old is president of the board of directors at West
Ridge Academy, a youth residential treatment center in Utah. In
2010, he ran for a seat in the Utah House of Representatives but
lost. He’s contemplating another run for public office.
Now he doesn’t have to worry about finding a replacement
bicycle, valued at between $6,000 and $10,000.
”I’m not a racer, but I love to ride,” he said on a
sun-splashed fall day. ”A day like today would have been