Former NBA player Rick Brunson, 42, arrested on June 25 and charged with aggravated battery and attempted sexual assault, allegedly gave the name “Patrick Ewing” in a massage appointment on April 2. The masseuse alleges that the faux-Pat Ewing attempted to assault her.
The Chicago Tribune reported that a police report stated Brunson had seen the masseuse between 10 and 20 times in the period from 2010 to 2013, with the last occurring on August 21, 2013. The incident occurred at a Vernon Hills, Illinois fitness center. Brunson made the appointment on April 2, and the masseuse entered the room and found Brunson waiting for her fully naked.
The police report stated:
Brunson admitted to her that he booked the massage under a different name. … (She) believed he used a fake name to book the massage because she had told him in 2013 that she would not massage him anymore. (She) reluctantly agreed to massage him since he was already there.
A human resources employee at the fitness center told police that “Brunson also admitted to booking his massage under an assumed name, but he indicated that this was a habit dating back to his professional basketball career.” The employee added that Brunson was “apologetic” and said he “expressed regret over the incident.” Brunson played with Ewing in the Hall of Famer’s final season in New York.
The victim told the club’s manager, who canceled Brunson’s membership effective April 9. The victim alleged that on April 9, Brunson texted and phoned her repeatedly. By April 15, she applied for a protective order, asserting that she was “afraid of [him]” and “just want[ed] him to leave me alone…. I have asked him before to leave me alone and I don’t think he hears what I’m saying.”
Jason Thunstrom, vice-president of Life Time Fitness, Inc., which owns the fitness center, said the company was investigating the case on their own and will cooperate with the police.
Brunson played nine seasons in the NBA for eight different teams and retired in 2006. He has since served as an assistant coach for the Chicago Bulls, Charlotte Bobcats, and Denver Nuggets. He graduated from Temple University and there were rumors that he might land an assistant coaching slot there.