Marijuana charges against Udonis Haslem dropped

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Thumbnail image for udonis_haslem.jpgFor all the times the “it’s not my joint, I’m holding it for a friend” excuse has been used, it had to be true once.

Marijuana charges against the Heat’s Udonis Haslem have been dropped, as reported by Ira Winderman at the South Florida Sun Sentinel. The Miami Dade County prosecutors dropped the charges because they could not prove possession.

Haslem was pulled over last month in the Miami area for illegal window tint, but the officer smelled marijuana when he approached the vehicle. After searching the car, Haslem and his passenger were charged with possession of marijuana, along with the window-tint charge and speeding.

At the time Haslem’s attorney Eric Schwartzreich said the charges would not stick, that there was no way to prove possession.

A passenger in the vehicle, Antwain Fleming, who acknowledged in the police report that luggage containing the marijuana was his, was charged with misdemeanor possession of less than 20 grams of marijuana.

“They sent the container out for his prints, to see if Haslem’s prints were on the container, they’re not,” Schwartzreich said Thursday, when the print analysis was completed. “They’ve got another guy claiming all the marijuana is mine in the beginning and Udonis’ prints are not on the container.”

And there you have it.

James Harden: “I am the best player in the league. I believe that.”

James Harden, Stephen Curry
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James Harden was the MVP last season — if you ask his fellow NBA players.

The traditional award (based on a media vote) went to Stephen Curry (in the closest vote in four years), and that was the right call (in my mind). But from the time it happened Harden did not buy it. And he still doesn’t buy it. In the least — and he’s using that as fuel for this season. That’s what he told Fran Blinebury over at

“I am the best player in the league. I believe that,” he said. “I thought I was last year, too.”

Well, it’s a more realistic claim than Paul George’s.

“But that award means most valuable to your team. We finished second in the West, which nobody thought we were going to do at the beginning of the year even when everybody was healthy. We were near the top in having the most injuries. We won our division in a division where every single team made the playoffs.

“There’s so many factors. I led the league in total points scored, minutes played. Like I said, I’m not taking anything away from Steph, but I felt I deserved the Most Valuable Player. That stays with me.”

That’s very Kobe Bryant of you to turn that into fuel. Defining the MVP Award is an annual discussion that nobody agrees on.

I could get into how Harden was the old-school, traditional stats MVP, how that ignores how Steve Kerr used Curry, and how that opened up the Warriors’ offense to championship levels. Curry put up numbers, but he was also the distraction, the bright star that Kerr used to open up looks for Klay Thompson, Draymond Green, and others. Curry’s strength was not just what he did with the ball in his hands, but his gravity to draw defenders even when he didn’t. Did the Warriors stay healthier than the Rockets? No doubt. Should Curry be penalized for that?

It’s simple for Harden — if he can put up those numbers again, if he can be the fulcrum of a top offense, he will be in the discussion for MVP again. And, if he can lead the Rockets beyond the conference finals, nobody will talk about that MVP snub anyway.