I wonder if Glen Rice Jr is an example of why our Government is so hopelessly off track in justice and its seemingly never-ending desire to loosen bail to shorter sentences, and then ridicule Simon Bridges when he wants to do the opposite.

Rice Jr is the bloke the Breakers basketball team brought out from the States this season as part of their rebuild.

He came with baggage - so much baggage, a lot of eyebrows were raised as to the wisdom of the move.

He had bothered the law a number of times in America, but the argument was he was good on the court as opposed to in the court.


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And the new Breakers owner Matt Walsh seemed to be on some sort of evangelical journey in which the resurrection of Rice Jr was part of some master plan.

It didn't start well, Rice Jr had been here five minutes when he was arrested. A lot of people not at all surprised said something like 'I told you so'.

We had Walsh on the programme, where he pleaded for patience, that the story might not be as portrayed, and that this bloke needed help and guidance and Walsh was here to give it.

By the end of the interview I couldn't work out whether I was talking to a sports team owner or a priest.

Walsh was clearly operating under the same principles this government does on crime and punishment, the now infamous potential abolition of three strikes under the lenient eye of Andrew Little.

The dislike of a record prison muster, the decriminalisation of cannabis, the poo-pooing of National on their gang stance all the while watching the membership numbers explode; the unending and unwavering belief that if you just chuck money at criminals they'll eventually come right.

Back to Glen Rice Jr. He went to court, got bail, and was able to travel with the team by way of paying back Walsh and his goodwill. He then breached that bail and as of yesterday, got sacked.


Even the good shepherd Walsh had tired of him.

So what do we know about Rice Jr and his presence in this country and on the Breakers?

He came here with a record and an abysmal reputation, spoke upon arrival of concentrating on basketball and promising to stay out of trouble. He then went and allegedly broke the law, then breached bail, and then got sacked.

Was he treated unfairly, did Walsh and the team not help him enough? Did they not wrap enough support and services around him?

Did they not give him the opportunities to truly repent and express his deep remorse?

Or, is he just a waste of time and a drain that was destined - given what we already knew - to blow up in the face of those who offered yet another chance to redeem himself?

The lesson, as sad and hard as it may be to learn, is some people just can't get out of their own way.

And in life, lines have to be drawn. Energy in, energy out.

Not everyone can be saved, rehabilitated, or fixed. Some people are simply destined for jail or to be sacked

Some people are a waste of time. The trick is to realise that, face up to it and treat them accordingly. Whether they're in the justice system or on a basketball court.