Udonis Haslem started the Heat party a bit early


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!

Raptors unveil updated court design

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Several teams have updated their court designs this offseason, including the Bulls, Nuggets, Bucks and Hawks. The Raptors are the latest team to update their floor, to go along with a new logo and uniforms. Here’s what the Air Canada Centre will look like this season:

It features their new claw/basketball logo at center court and the font on their new uniforms at the baselines. The “We The North” along the sideline is a nice touch, too. Overall, the Raptors have done an excellent job with their rebrand, just in time for All-Star Weekend to be hosted in Toronto for the first time.

Former UCLA, NBA player Dave Meyers dies at 62

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LOS ANGELES (AP) Dave Meyers, the star forward who led UCLA to the 1975 NCAA basketball championship as the lone senior in coach John Wooden’s final season and later played for the NBA’s Milwaukee Bucks, died Friday. He was 62.

Meyers died at his home in Temecula after struggling with cancer for the last year, according to UCLA, which received the news from his younger sister, Ann Meyers Drysdale.

He played four years for Milwaukee after being drafted second overall by the Los Angeles Lakers. Shortly after, Meyers was part of a blockbuster trade that sent him to the Bucks in exchange for Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.

The 6-foot-8 Meyers led UCLA in scoring at 18.3 points and rebounding at 7.9 in his final season, helping the Bruins to a 28-3 record. He had 24 points and 11 rebounds in their 92-85 victory over Kentucky in the NCAA title game played in his hometown of San Diego.

Meyers Drysdale also played at UCLA during her Hall of Fame career.

Meyers assumed the Bruins’ leadership role during the 1974-75 season after Bill Walton and Jamaal Wilkes had graduated. Playing with sophomores Marques Johnson and Richard Washington, Meyers earned consensus All-America honors. Meyers made the cover of Sports Illustrated after the Bruins won the NCAA title.

“One of the true warriors in (at)UCLAMBB history has gone on to glory,” Johnson wrote on Twitter. “Dave Meyers was our Captain in `75 and as tenacious a player ever. RIP.”

Johnson recalled in other tweets how Meyers called him `MJB’ or Marques Johnson Baby when he was a freshman, and later in the NBA, Meyers was nicknamed “Crash” because he always diving on the floor for loose balls.

As a junior, Meyers started on a front line featuring future Hall of Famers Walton and Wilkes.

Meyers was a reserve as a sophomore on the Bruins’ 1973 NCAA title team during the school’s run of 10 national titles in 12 years under Wooden. The team went 30-0 and capped the season by beating Memphis 87-66 in the championship game, when Meyers had four points and three rebounds.

In 1975, Meyers, along with Elmore Smith, Junior Bridgeman and Brian Winters, was traded to Milwaukee for Abdul-Jabbar and Walt Wesley.

During the 1977-78 season, Meyers was reunited with Johnson on the Bucks and averaged a career-best 14.7 points. He missed the next year with a back injury. Meyers returned in 1979-80 to average 12.1 points and 5.7 rebounds in helping the Bucks win a division title.

Born David William Meyers, he was one of 11 children. His father, Bob, was a standout basketball player and team captain at Marquette in the 1940s. The younger Meyers averaged 22.7 points as a senior at Sonora High in La Habra, California.

Meyers made a surprise announcement in 1980 that he was retiring from basketball to spend more time with his family. He later earned his teaching certificate and taught sixth grade for several years in Lake Elsinore, California.

He is survived by his wife, Linda, whom he married in 1975, and daughter Crystal and son Sean.