Posted on: September 16, 2010 4:15 pm
Edited on: September 16, 2010 4:23 pm

Marijuana charges dropped against Udonis Haslem

Charges dropped against Heat forward for marijuna charges after traffic stop this summer.
Posted by Matt Moore

You have to wonder if this is going to become a recurring theme for the Heat. Trouble faced, challenge overcome, walk away clean. Or maybe this is just your normal story about a player having charges dropped over a minor violation. Regardless, Udonis Haslem's lawyer told the Miami Sun-Sentinel's Ira Winderman that all charges against him from the August arrest for marijuana possession have been dropped . His laywer informed the paper that Haslem's prints were not found on the container in his passenger's luggage which contained the marijuana in question. Haslem has not had previous trouble on account of marijuana. Winderman reports it's unclear whether he will still be forced to attend the NBA's substance abuse counseling sessions, given, you know, he didn't do anything.

It's a welcome development for the Heat, to get the charges cleared and taken care of in advance of training camp. There's going to be enough distractions this year, and Haslem will play an important part in the Heat's defense and rebounding efforts this year. Not having him distracted will likely serve them well.

Haslem's passenger Antwain Fleming does still face the charges for his less than 20 grams of marijuana. In Miami. Yeesh. This is like stopping in the middle of the Titanic's sinking and being upset because someone spilled their water on the carpet.

Posted on: August 27, 2010 2:28 pm
Edited on: August 27, 2010 3:47 pm

Rush, Evans, Hasbrouck suspended

NBA players Brandon Rush, Tyreke Evans, Kenny Hasbrouck suspended for various games this season.
Posted by Matt Moore

The NBA today suspended Brandon Rush, Kenny Hasbrouck, and Tyreke Evans for games starting in the 2010 NBA season.

Rush is at once the most surprising and most severe, getting five games for violating the NBA's drug policy. Mike Wells of the Indianapolis Star reports that this is Rush's third violation of the drug program , which automatically leads to a five-game suspension. Evans recevied a one game suspension for his little joyride last April . Hasbrouck had been arrested for driving while intoxicated in New York, and received two games.

Evans is the highest profile player, and his absence will make the Kings' season opener in Minnesota a pick 'em. Were it a better team, they would undoubtedly be underdogs in that game.

Rush, though, made strides last season, and this is a significant step backwards. It's not know at this time if the violation was for recreational drug use or violation for use of a banned substance as was the case with Rashard Lewis last season.

Hasbrouck was unlikely to see time for the Heat at all, and especially not for the first two games of the season. The Heat also had to expect this result after Hasbrouck's guilty plea. It's not known whether Hasbrouck will even make it out of training camp, being a D-League call-up on a championship-expectant team.

The fact that the Pacers were not made aware of the first two violations for Rush, per the NBA Collective Bargaining Agreement in order to protect a player's privacy, is likely to spark some debate. Not being aware of a player's problems prevents a team from being able to get that player the help he needs. While the concern is unfair treatment towards those players, the inability of a team to support the player through his trouble can be construred to cause more harm than good. It's especially disappointing because of how Rush has developed, starting to look more and more like a central part of the Pacers' future.

This comes on the heels of another Pacer likely to face suspension, with Lance Stephenson arrested for assault on his girlfriend and mother of his kids. With how the Pacers have been hyper-aggressive in avoiding low-character players, this could spell a significant downturn for Rush's career.
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