Ronnie Craven is a man who likes to use Craigslist to find women for him to woo. Nothing too out of the ordinary there, except that he likes to pretend that he is a member of the front office staff of the Seattle Supersonics. “I am going to be honest with you. I don’t work for them,” Craven told a Seattle Post-Intelligencer reporter, “(The situation was) all brought on by an online dating thing. Craigslist. I lied to her. Does that mean I can go out there and represent the Sonics? No. Does that mean that I did it to get some (sex)? Absolutely.”
It seems that Ronnie cravenly told his local paper about how he worked with the Sonics, even being featured in an article, and fine fact-checking that they did, no one ever realized that he was lying. To the woman he was dating, he told her that he was Jeff Turner, a former NBA player.
At other times Craven presented himself to friends and acquaintances as a longtime friend of Sonics GM Sam Presti, even claiming that he had served as a scout and as an assistant coach for several games this season. At the Seattle Athletic Club he told players in a pickup game that he was Todd Lichti, another former NBA player, of course, Lichti is only 6′ 4″ and Craven is 6′ 8″…
When the woman confronted Craven about his dishonesty, he immediately apologized, she said. “He said doesn’t know why he did it, yada, yada, yada. This guy really went above and beyond. I knew nothing about basketball and he said, ‘Great, because I hate talking about basketball and girls wanting to be with me just because I was a player.’ ” Craven admitted that he wasn’t Jeff Turner, but continued to insist that he had played 12 years in the NBA.
Craven proclaims that he never presented himself as a Sonics employee when interviewed by Jack Nikas, a Boston University student and reporter for the Somerville News who did the story on Craven. However, “according to Nikas, Craven walked into the newspaper’s office wearing a Sonics coaching shirt and told Nikas he was a coach and scout. He claimed he met Presti when the Sonics GM was a youth basketball player and tried recruiting Presti to Framingham State, a Division III school 25 miles west of Boston where Craven said he was the head coach.”
The Somerville story apparently was precipitated by emails that Craven’s former girlfriend believes he in fact sent to the newspaper, something which Craven denies. Ronnie Craven remains all class though, telling the Seattle P-I, “I’ll admit, it was a hoax. It was all a put-on. But somebody who I met on a dating site is trying to sabotage me. This is some broad that I lied to who said I did identity theft, (and) I am not going to know what hit me. There was no intimacy in the relationship. I never tapped her.”
I’m sure she’s very thankful for that. “To be honest with you, this whole thing has already taken its toll,” Craven continued, “I know my credibility doesn’t look so great right now. This is embarrassing for me. At this point, I don’t know what to do. I will say this is very, very disturbing.”