Udonis Haslem's attorney convinced he'll beat this rap

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haslem_sad.jpgUdonis Haslem is maybe the most beloved member of the Heat — remember that 200 team employees showed up for a surprise party at his house. This is a guy who has been anything but a problem.

Which is why his arrest for marijuana in the car was a surprise. Haslem was pulled over for speeding on Sunday but after a search of the car was arrested on felony drug possession and four counts of possessing drug paraphernalia. Haslem’s passenger in the car has claimed the drugs and paraphernalia were his.

Haslem’s lawyer, Eric Schwartzreich, told our own Ira Winderman, writing for the South Florida Sun Sentinel, that the charges will not stick. That the police are only doing this because he is Udonis Haslem, because he is high profile.

“By law, this is called constructive possession,” Schwartzreich said, “where the marijuana is not on anyone’s person, there are two people in the vehicle, and one of the people in the vehicle, that being the passenger, not Udonis Haslem, says, ‘Hey, this is my marijuana.’ To further bolster the veracity of that statement, inside the bag, where marijuana is found, are documents bearing the name of the passenger.

“So it’s not just one of these situations where the guy is claiming it or stepping up. Legitimately, the bag is found with the guy’s name. The guy says, ‘This is my marijuana.’ “

Police are not seeing it that way. Not only have they impounded Haslem’s Mercedes and have filed papers to make that permanent.

“They would have to have proof, in which there isn’t any, that this was Udonis Haslem’s marijuana, he knew that it was in his car, and that a felony was being committed.” Schwartzreich said. “I do not think, believe, they will be able to get this vehicle.”

There was also a firearm in the glove compartment of the car belonging to Haslem, according to police. Schwartzreich said that was not illegal.

He adds that he expects all the charges against Haslem to go away.

Whatever happens this is not something that will keep Haslem from playing — the NBA does not suspend for first-time drug issues, it sends the player to counseling.

But the damage to a reputation is much harder to repair.

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.