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.

LeBron James rejects Giannis Antetokounmpo at the rim

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Through the first couple games of the season, Giannis Antetokounmpo has put up impressive numbers — he dropped 34 points, 8 rebounds, and 8 assists on the Cavaliers Friday night.

But the Cavaliers still have LeBron James.

He had 24 points and 8 assists, leading Cleveland to the win.

LeBron also reminded the Greek Freak just how good a rim protector he is. Few people can slow Antetokounmpo on the drive, but LeBron is one of them.

Is it too early to root for a Cavs vs. Bucks playoff series?

Hawks’ DeAndre’ Bembry out with fractured wrist

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In their season opener Wednesday, Atlanta second-year man DeAndre’ Bembry came off the bench and played 17:45, scored six points and was +13 on the night. It was a good start to his career.

But now he is going to miss some time with a fractured wrist.

Bembry underwent an MRI, which revealed a fracture in his right wrist, the Hawks announced Friday. He will return to Atlanta with the team (the Hawks lost to the Hornets Friday night) and will meet with team doctors at the Emory Orthopaedics & Spine Center on Monday. His status will be updated after that.

“We just may play some other guys more, we may use some of the young guys,” Hawks coach Mike Budenholzer told the AP before Friday night’s game. “We’ll just figure it out tonight and as we move forward. I don’t think there’s anything guaranteed for anybody, it’s unfortunate for DeAndre’ and for us.”

 

Danny Ainge says Celtics will apply for Disabled Player Exception

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It’s not likely Gordon Hayward returns this season. His agent said as much, although a return in March is not out of the question. (It’s better PR wise for the Celtics to say he is out for the season, then if he returns early great, it’s better than setting a deadline he doesn’t meet.)

With that, the Celtics are going to apply for the Disabled Player Exception, which could help them land a replacement player, Danny Ainge told Gary Washburn of the Boston Globe.

President of basketball operations Danny Ainge told the Globe on Friday the club is applying for the Disabled Player Exception, which would provide the Celtics $8.4 million to pursue a player to fill Hayward’s roster spot.

“We’re in the process of doing that,’’ Ainge said. “We have a while to do that. There’s no urgency, but we will apply for that.”

There are limits to what that money can get the Celtics. The money is the same as the mid-level exception, the Celtics can go over the cap to use it, and the player can be obtained via free agency or trade. However, the player must be in the last year of his contract.

It gives the Celtics options. It also does not mean Hayward cannot return, it only means NBA-approved doctors determined he is not likely to return before a mid-June deadline.

Kings hire former WNBA Seattle coach Jenny Boucek as assistant

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The NBA now has a third female assistant coach.

The first was Becky Hammon, who has been part of Gregg Popovich’s Spurs staff for several years (and has coached their Summer League team). The second was Nancy Leiberman, who has been on the staff in Sacramento for a couple of seasons now.

Now the Kings have hired former Seattle Storm coach Jenny Boucek as an assistant coach on Dave Joerger’s staff. She will work as an assistant player development coach.

A former WNBA player in the league’s inaugural season, the past three years she has coached the WNBA’s Seattle Storm (she was fired midway through the last season), and prior to that had been the head coach of the Sacramento Monarchs from 2007-09.