Udonis Haslem started the Heat party a bit early

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Thumbnail image for udonis_haslem.jpgUPDATE Aug. 16, 9:12 am: Here comes the defense, and to be blunt (pardon the pun) it’s a pretty familiar… It wasn’t his, it was the passengers, he didn’t even know it was there. You know, all the stuff you told your parents as a teenager when they thought they smelled chronic in the car after you borrowed it.

Ira Winderman of the South Florida Sun Sentinel (and us here at NBC) spoke with Haslem’s attorney:

“All the marijuana in the car, according to the police report, belonged to the passenger. The passenger admitted it.”


“Haslem has done nothing wrong. He did not know it was there. He’s being targeted because he’s a high-profile NBA player.”

You can decide for yourself the validity of those statements. Well, you and the judge.

Aug: 15, 9:41 pm: Expect to hear a lot of jokes about Udonis Haslem getting a head start on the Heat’s 2011 championship they’ve supposedly already won (as Dwyane Wade said, “the hard part’s over” after all).

WSVN in Miami reports that Haslem was pulled over in Miami-Dade county Sunday for illegal window tint, whereupon the officer smelled that particular odor reminiscent of marijuana cigarettes. After searching the car, Haslem and his passenger were charged with possession of marijuana, along with the window-tint charge and speeding.

TMZ reports that the arresting officers found less than 20 grams of marijuana. Reports are sketchy at this time whether that amount is sufficient to get Jazz rookie Gordon Hayward stoned back to third grade (or in other words, two weeks ago) (double-zing!).

It’s at this point I’m supposed to tell you about how the Heat don’t need these kinds of distractions, or that it’s reminiscent of how the Heat aren’t mature enough to contend, or some other nonsense based on a largely insignificant charge that will have no long-term repercussions.

Haslem, to public knowledge, has not had another drug run-in recently, and therefore won’t be impacted by suspensions (it’s only on third incidents that the league hands down suspensions). The shocking thing about this is not that Haslem was arrested for marijuana possession, but that of every single person in Miami-Dade county in possession of marijuana today at 3PM, Haslem was the one that got busted.

Ah, we’ve reached that magical moment each year, where NBA players start filling out the police blotter. Fall is right around the corner!

Celtics to retire Paul Pierce’s number after Cavaliers game in February

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The Celtics already said they’d retire Paul Pierce’s No. 34.

Now, we know when.

Celtics release:

The Boston Celtics announced today that they will retire Paul Pierce’s No. 34 after a mid-season game against the Cleveland Cavaliers on Sunday, Feb. 11

After? That’s apparently in response to a new rule that penalizes teams not ready to play after a 15-minute halftime. These ceremonies can drag on, and nobody wants to cut Pierce short. I wonder whether this will start a trend of number retirements coming after games.

DeMarcus Cousins on Confederate statues: ‘Take all them motherf—ers down’

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DeMarcus Cousins grew up in Alabama, played collegiately at Kentucky and now plays in New Orleans.

So, yeah, the Pelicans star has an opinion on Confederate statues.

Cousins, via TMZ:

“Take all them motherf*ckers down,” Cousins said … “Take ’em all down.”

These statues glorify people because they fought a war against the United States in the name of preserving the racist institution of slavery.

Not whom I want to honor, either.

Kevin Durant: Kyrie Irving-LeBron James situation ‘just a regular NBA problem’

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Kevin Durant knows something about star teammates not always getting along.

So, the Warriors forward is not freaking out about the disconnect between Kyrie Irving and LeBron James and Irving’s subsequent trade request.

Durant, via Chris Haynes of ESPN:

“It’s just a regular NBA problem, right? A lot of teams have gone through this before,” Durant told ESPN. “They’ll figure it out. That’s a great organization, a championship organization. They’ll figure it out.”

“It’s not the end of the world,” Durant said. “Both of those guys won a championship together. They love each other. If Kyrie wants to do something else, that’s on him. I’m sure whatever happens, it’ll work out for the best for both of them. But it’s just a normal NBA problem. It’s just two big stars that it’s happening to.”

Durant is definitely right in the larger sense. Teammates spat and requests trades more often than we realize. Remember, both Irving and the Cavaliers probably prefer this never became public.

But I’m not sure Cleveland will figure this out with the ease Durant suggests. David Griffin, who had proven so adept at putting out these fires, is gone. LeBron’s free agency looms. This could be extremely destructive to the Cavs.

The fact that this “regular NBA problem” became public only intensifies it – and raises it something greater.

Report: Heat signing Jordan Mickey

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Jordan Mickey – the No. 33 pick by the Celtics in 2015 – became the first second-round pick in memory to sign the year he was drafted and receive a higher initial salary than first-round picks.

He’s keeping the checks coming.

Shams Charania of Yahoo Sports:

Mickey will be the Heat’s 16th player with a standard contract, though Matt Williams (unguaranteed) will likely be waived to meet the regular-season roster limit.

I’m not sure where Mickey fits on this team, which already has several bigs. Hassan Whiteside, Bam Adebayo and Kelly Olynyk will likely play ahead of him. Miami also has A.J. Hammons (who might be just dead salary) and Udonis Haslem (who might provide nothing more than veteran leadership).

The Heat could just see Mickey as someone they can develop. At that point, how he fits into the current roster doesn’t really matter.

Mickey – 6-foot-8 with a 7-foot-3 wingspan – is a mobile defender with nice timing for blocking shots inside. He even possesses a work-in-progress 3-pointer in his arsenal. There’s plenty for Miami to help mold.