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Herren details drugs, recovery in ESPN Film

Posted by Julian Benbow, Globe Staff  November 1, 2011 12:43 PM

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G: Seeing yourself on screen -- you have no problem telling your story obviously -- but the footage, were there moments where you saw yourself and it’s difficult?

CH: It’s harder for me to watch the footage from say, early Fresno back to high school than it is from late Fresno to now. And people would say, “How could that be, because you weren’t involved in the heavy, heavy drugs.” But it’s just I didn’t get much treatment during on those days. I haven’t lived through it in a long time. So when I watch it on film I cringe, and I’m like, ‘Oh man.” But that being said, I’m glad I have the footage and I’m glad I have the footage of my mother. I’m glad I the footage of my games that little Chris can watch someday. But yeah, it can be hard.

G: It’s a documentary, but it’s also like watching “The Fighter” because two people are kind of amazing. Your wife is amazing and your brother. They're the two most compelling characters in the movie. Talk about the role your brother plays and the strength your wife has because she put up with a ton -- in all due respect.

CH: No doubt. My brother is a big brother and that’s how he’s played his role his whole life, even in time when his days of being a big brother should have been over, he still remained that person. I have so much to be grateful for that relationship. My wife is -- and say this with the utmost sincerity and honesty when I speak at these places -- my wife should be the one telling the story. Because she lived through this story sober. My wife doesn’t use drugs, she doesn’t drink. She lived through this story with a clear head and sober. I went through it under the influence. So my wife, when 99 percent of the people would have left, she stayed. You know?

G: The highs and the lows, they came and went. But it almost seemed like they came at the same time. How much do you guard against that, when life is going very, very well, not backsliding.

CH: I said it earlier today, and it’s not in the documentary (there’s so much that’s not in the documentary), I was playing for the Celtics and five years later I was smoking cigarettes out of public ashtrays and buying $2 pints of vodka. That’s what my life came to -- in a five year span. So when I was reaching my high I was on my descent pretty quickly.

G: What’s the most gratifying part about doing the movie?

CH: The most gratifying thing is getting the e-mails from the kids, getting a phone call at 1 o’clock in the morning from a parent saying, "Listen, my son just showed up drunk. Can you talk to him? Can you have breakfast with him tomorrow?” Those are the victories that mean something for me today. That’s what it’s all about.

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