Former NBA 1st round draft pick Isaiah “J.R.” Rider was arrested in Arizona this week for violating his probation … TMZ has learned.
Rider — who played in the NBA from 1993 to 2001 — is currently behind bars inMaricopa County on a no-bail hold. It’s unclear why police believe Rider violated his probation.
Rider’s probation stems from a 2010 incident — where he fled from police after they tried to pull him over for driving erratically. He pled guilty to unlawful flight from a law enforcement vehicle.
Rider has had a long history of run-ins with police — over the years, he’s been arrested for fraud, battery, domestic violence, false reporting, kidnapping and possession of narcotic drugs.
Isaiah Rider‘s wife believes the former NBA star is the victim of a “she-devil, man-hating” probation officer … who has been out to get her husband simply because he’s famous.
TMZ spoke with Vanessa Rider, who tells us … Isaiah’s P.O. has been “abusing her power” — and has been blocking his efforts to complete his probation, and that’s whyhe was arrested this week.
Rider says Isaiah got permission from the court to apply to travel to L.A. to explore job opportunities as a basketball coach, but the P.O. has refused to sign off on it … insisting he work at a local McDonald’s, or a similar local establishment during his probation.
Vanessa says, “He’s not going to work at McDonald’s … he’s a retired athlete.”
As for the 90 uncompleted hours of community service, Vanessa says Isaiah wanted to volunteer at his church, but the P.O. would only let him pick up trash on the side of the road.
Vanessa also says Rider still wishes to complete his domestic violence course … but wants to do so in California, so he can work at the same time.
Isaiah is scheduled to appear in court on Oct. 11 — and Vanessa believes a judge will see things his way and let him out of jail. Calls to the Maricopa County Probation Department were not returned.
Rider started his NBA career strong, finishing the 1993-94 season as a member of the NBA’s All-Rookie First Team. His play, however, slipped over the following two seasons, and he began a pattern of off-court misbehavior. He was found to be insubordinate towards Timberwolves management, and was involved in an incident in which he kicked the female manager of a sports bar for which he ultimately was convicted of fifth-degree assault. By 1996, Minnesota finally had enough, dealing him to Portland after the season. In return for Rider the T-Wolves received Bill Curley, James Robinson and a conditional first round draft pick in 1997 or 1998. Just before the trade Rider was arrested for marijuana possession. At the time of his arrest he also had an illegal cell phone; it had been altered to charge calls to someone else’s bill. He was later convicted of misdemeanor marijuana possession, and pleaded no contest to possessing the illegal cell phone. Three weeks later, he was arrested for gambling in public back in Oakland.
Portland Trail Blazers
On a talent-laden Portland team Rider’s scoring dipped to new lows, but the team enjoyed a modicum of success. Rider also toned down his off-court act slightly in his three seasons in the Rose City; though he was not exactly a model citizen either. On October 30, 1996, he was cited for, and subsequently convicted of, possession of less than an ounce of marijuana.  He also was suspended for a total of 12 games in three years, including a three-game suspension for spitting at a heckler.
Still, the Atlanta Hawks felt Rider was the missing piece in their puzzle after the 1998-99 season. So they sent Steve Smith to the Blazers for Rider and Jim Jackson, another talent who had not quite reached his potential. But while Rider played well enough on the basketball floor, pacing the Hawks in scoring, his off-court incidents exploded in Atlanta: arrests; quarrels with management; parking in the reserved space at Philips Arena belonging to Atlanta Thrashers head coach, Curt Fraser; missing practices, etc. After reports that he had smoked marijuana in an Orlando hotel room, the league demanded that he attend drug counseling. He refused and was fined a total of $200,000 until he agreed to attend. He showed up late for a March game in Detroit, and rather than serve a three-game suspension, he demanded his outright release. Having long since grown tired of Rider’s act, the Hawks were more than willing to comply. The now-infamous Rider trade left the Hawks franchise in ruin; only a year after finishing fourth in the Eastern Conference, they finished next-to-last in the division and would not return to the playoffs for nine years.
Los Angeles Lakers
Rider’s next stop was the home of the defending champions, the Los Angeles Lakers. Rider played in 67 games during the 2000-01 season, leading their bench in scoring with a 7.6 average. Though left off the playoff roster in favor of two reserves (Greg Foster and Devean George) who rarely played, Rider was awarded a Championship ring by the franchise. After the season, Rider stated that he wanted to return to the Lakers.
Prior to the 2001-02 season, the Denver Nuggets decided that Rider might be worth the trouble if he could resuscitate their moribund offense, but Rider’s stint in the Mile High City was limited to just 10 games before being waived on November 20, 2001. Rider refused to term it “retirement” at the time, however, insisting that he could still play if given the chance.