Posted on: August 27, 2010 2:28 pm
Edited on: August 27, 2010 3:47 pm
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.
Posted on: August 16, 2010 10:06 pm
Edited on: August 16, 2010 11:48 pm
Larry Bird issues sternly worded statement after more details of rookie's arrest come to light.
Posted by Matt Moore
It's important not to leap to conclusions when an athlete finds himself in legal trouble. Situations are rarely as simple as they appear, and were it to be a friend of yours, you'd want the public to extend some level of restraint in criticism and discretion. Unfortunately, the more we learn after the arrest of Lance Stephenson, the harder it is to avoid casting a harsh eye. Regardless, the Pacers aren't necessarily taking that approach. Nor are they taking a position comparable to other teams' "We support (player X) and will stand by him through this time." Instead, they are aggressively discussing punishment, particularly with reports developing that Stephenson not only threw the mother of his child down a flight of steps, but then slammed her head into the bottom step .
It's disturbing behavior for any team to face with a draft pick, but for Indiana, committed to rebuilding its team's character in the eyes of fans who saw the mid-00's team devolve into off-court turmoil (and, you know, the whole Malice in the Palace thing), it's something that will elicit the kind of response Larry Bird issued today. From Pacers.com:
Those are not the words of a franchise looking to brush past the assault charges. Those are the words of a franchise that sounds ready to cut bait on a second-round pick that had such a promising Summer League. After coming out and playing lights out this summer, Stephenson has wasted every ounce of good will he's managed to earn despite his rocky character profile.
It's frustrating. It's frustrating for the Pacers, working to move past their failures in character judgment. It's frustrating for Stephenson's fans, hoping he could capitalize on his tremendous skill if he could just grow up, just a little. To have that much God-given talent, to have worked so hard to put yourself in a position to show all the doubters wrong, and then to justify every negative thing that was said about you, how depressing is that? It's possible Stephenson's completely innocent. Our system will treat him as such, and if exonerated, I'll certainly be the first to acknowledge the mistake of presuming guilt. But it doesn't look good, and as Bird said, Stephenson put himself in a bad situation, one he shouldn't be in.
There's not a tremendous amount of leeway a second round pick gets. Stephenson's short amount of credit may have just been maxed.
Posted on: August 16, 2010 8:49 am
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Posted by Matt Moore
Lance Stephenson's impressive performance in Summer League was enough to make you think maybe all the talk of him being a knucklhead was overblown. Whoops. Stephenson allegedly threw his girlfriend down a flight of stairs Sunday. The question of whether the acqusition of Darren Collison by the Pacers now looks like a savvy move or if Stephenson's realization that he's been bumped down the depth charthelped contribute to the incident is a lot like the chicken and the egg. Only with guys that throw their girlfriends down stairs. Not cool, if true.
Dwyane Wade feasts on the tears of children. No, seriously, there's video evidence and everything .
Mike Miller is no longer on the list of "guys you should mess around with." He's been training with MMA fighters .
Owners-media relationships are one of the more interesting developments in new media, as owners have been at both ends of the spectrum. Michael Hiesley has done interviews with blogs before. James Dolan, on the other hand, doesn't even speak up when he needs to make sure everyone knows the house is in order.
J.J. Redick was one of the most efficient players in the NBA last season, which is particularly difficult from the perimeter. With his new nifty $20 million contract, you have to wonder if he'll be given more opportunities to showcase that efficiency.
The Warriors sold for $450 million, which isn't a bad price tag in this economy. The Detroit Pistons, with multiple championships and a much greater basketball legacy, but in a decisively lower bargaining position, are on the table and close to a deal, but the leading bidder's not willing to go over $400 million . Whether this is the kind of driving force behind the failing economy of a symptom thereof, is, naturally, another chicken-and-the-egg deal. As long as the Pistons don't move, everything should be cool.
O.J. Mayo is arguably the second best player on the Grizzlies, depending on who you talk to. And there are six spot-on reasons why he doesn't have a place on the Grizzlies roster. This has "how the Grizzlies screw up a good situation, again" written all over it.
Josh Childress, on if he can be a lockdown perimeter defender on the Suns, a team not known for its defense, even marginally acceptable defense: "That's the plan."
Andrea Bargnani isn't the worst rebounding seven-footer in the history of the league. But it's really close .
Finally, I'd like to nominate the following as our official slogan for the 2010 FIBA World Championships: "Please do not get hurt, Tyson Chandler." Really? Eric Gordon goes with the team on the next leg, and JaVale McGee, for all his issues one of the true legit bigs on the roster, and Jeff Green go home? In Coach K we trust, but....
Tags: Andrea Bargnani, Detroit Pistons, Dwyane Wade, Eric Gordon, FIBA World Championships, Golden State Warriors, Heat, Indiana Pacers, J.J. Redick, JaVale McGee, Jeff Green, Josh Childress, Lance Stephenson, Magic, Miami Heat, Mike Miller, MMA, O.J. Mayo, Orlando Magic, Pacers, Phoenix Suns, Pistons, police blotter, Raptors, shootaround, Suns, Toronto Raptors, Warriors