At the debut of his CNN + program, Rex Chapman fears his own success

Love and success seemed to lead to pain.

That feeling escalated in the NBA After a few injuries and surgery, he ended up becoming addicted to opioids, exacerbating his longtime gambling addiction. Retirement from basketball led to a deeper addiction. Chapman burned money. At 40, he crashed on sofas and stole goods to commit money. His wife, Bridget, divorced him in 2012.

At the height of his addiction, Chapman consumed about 10 OxyContin and 40 Vicodin pills per day, chewing them to get them into his bloodstream faster.

“At one point, I had just resigned myself to the fact that my life was just going to be an addict,” he said, adding a curse for emphasis.

In September 2014, he was caught shoplifting over $ 14,000 worth of electronics and was arrested. His sister, Jenny, welcomed him and with the help of friends convinced Chapman to go to a rehab center in Louisville, Ky., Where his college roommate, Paul Andrews, was an executive. “He saved my life,” Chapman said.

After Chapman cleansed himself, he began speaking in public about recovering from addiction. Around 2016, he got a job covering Kentucky athletics on the radio for a regional media company. The company pushed him to be more active on social media, particularly Twitter, but Chapman held out. “The landscape was simply toxic. Everyone hates each other, “he said.

A dolphin video changed everything: “One day I saw a video of a school of dolphins swimming in the open sea, and a boy on a paddle board walked in, and a dolphin jumped up and hit him in the chest and He dropped it. And I said to myself, ‘This is an accusation,’ “Chapman said, adding another curse. (The account that first shared the video is now suspended.)

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