Ex Blazer Kermit Washington pleads guilty to stealing from his charity

Former NBA player Kermit Washington has pleaded guilty to spending thousands of dollars on jewelry, vacations and other personal items from money donated to an African charity he organized.

Washington played three seasons for the Blazers. He came to Portland in a trade for then injury-riddled, unhappy Bill Walton. He and Maurice Lucas shared playing time until Lucas was traded and Washington became the starter. He played in the 1980 NBA All Star game

However, Washington is most remembered for being the player who punched Rudy Tomjanovich in the face, sending him to the hospital in 1977.

This week, he pleaded guilty to two counts of making a false statement in a tax return and one count of aggravated identity theft instead of going to trial Monday, according to a report by the Kansas City Star.

Washington diverted money from the bank account of his charity, called The Sixth Man, to pay himself or for personal spending. 

The infamous punch to Tomjanovich happened while there was a fight on the court between the Los Angeles Lakers and Houston Rockets. As Tomjanovich was coming over to help break it up, Washington saw him running and thought he was coming to join the fight. He hit Tomjanovich in the face so hard that it broke his jaw and fractured his face near his skull, leaving him unconscious in a pool of blood in the middle of the arena. 

Washington was later fined $10,000 and suspended for 60 days, missing 26 games. 

© 2017 KGW-TV


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