Report: Lamar Odom arrested for DUI

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Lamar Odom — whose own agent admitted he was dealing with drug issues — was arrested early Friday morning (late Thursday night) for driving under the influence.

Of course, TMZ had the news first.

The bust occurred in the San Fernando Valley at 3:54 AM. Lamar — who was driving a white Mercedes SUV — was popped by the California Highway Patrol and taken to a nearby station, where he was booked and is being held on $15,000 bail.

He was pulled over on the 101 Freeway for going too slow — 50 MPH. Cops say Odom had been driving in a “serpentine manner.”

Odom failed “numerous” field sobriety tests and refused to take a chemical test.

Odom’s agent admitted that his client was trying to get help for a drug problem, which he would not identify. TMZ had reported this drug issue had gone on for a couple years, though the past two seasons he did not fail any league drug tests. That said, the issue seems serious just by recent behavior including the apparent falling apart of his marriage (while there are all kinds of rumors we’re slow to believe everything TMZ or the tabloids write about Odom, especially without proof).

Odom passed every league drug test last season when playing for the Clippers, that would be four tests randomly spread through the season. (At least we know he didn’t test positive for harder drugs. In the NBA, the first two times a player tests positive for marijuana use he is sent to counseling and rehab, but the third positive test results in a five-game suspension. However, suspensions start immediately for harder drugs.) After the fourth test if a team suspects an issue it can demand more tests. I’m not going into a longer diatribe about drugs in the NBA right now, Tom Ziller covered that well already.

In Odom’s case, clearly something is going on. Which is too bad, because I like Odom, a guy who can be very funny and genuine.

There had been an Internet report that the Lakers promised Odom a roster spot if he immediately checked into rehab. That is not true, there has been no meeting or discussion along those lines. Right now there are no teams going to step forward and take a chance on Odom and he will have a lot of hoops to jump through to get back in the league.

Whatever happens, we hope Odom can clean up his life and get back on his feet.

Rumor: Paul George told former Pacers teammates he wanted to join the Lakers

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Paul George to the Lakers is a capital-T thing.

George is from Southern California, and he keeps indicating his dissatisfaction with the Pacers. He’ll be an unrestricted free agent in 2018. Even Lakers president Magic Johnson is talking about George.

Where do rumors like this originate?

Mitch Lawrence of Sporting News:

A SoCal native, he’s been talking about playing for his hometown team, the Lakers, for a long time. He’s never made his long-term intentions a secret within the Pacers’ locker room, according to former teammates. He wants to wear the purple and gold.

Did George say he dreamed of playing for the Lakers growing up? Did he say it’d be cool to join his boyhood favorite team if the situation presented itself? Or did he say he wanted to get the heck out of Indiana to join the Lakers as soon as possible?

There are so many ways his comments to teammates could get misconstrued as they get passed down in the game of telephone.

But the Lakers threat – to whatever degree it’s real – looms, and it’ll impact how the Pacers handle their offseason.

Jazz call deactivating Jeff Withey, who was accused of domestic violence, ‘strategic basketball-related decision’

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Jazz Center Jeff Withey was accused of domestic violence in a police report filed by his ex-fiancée.

Withey played a small role in Utah’s first two playoff games, but once the accusation over an alleged 2016 incident became public, he hasn’t seen the court. Withey received a DNP-CD in Game 3 against the Clippers, and the Jazz deactivated the center for Game 4 last night.

Ryan McDonald of the Deseret News:

The team called it a “strategic basketball-related decision.”

Withey was always going to see a reduced role with Rudy Gobert returning from injury.

Though Gobert didn’t play in Game 3, the Jazz had two injured players – Gobert and Alec Burks on the inactive list – so Withey was active but never played. But Withey was active for Game 1, which Gobert started healthy before injuring his knee 11 seconds in.

Therefore, deactivating Withey in Game 4 for Joel Bolomboy, a little-used second-round rookie who has yet to play in the postseason, is a curious choice for basketball reasons. It’s almost as if that wasn’t the reason.

Russell Westbrook on Rockets laughing at Andre Roberson missing free throws: ‘Probably the guys that don’t play’

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The Rockets bench made a big production when an intentionally fouled Andre Roberson kept missing free throws in the Thunder’s Game 4 loss to the Rockets yesterday.

Russell Westbrook stuck up for his teammate.

Royce Young of ESPN:

Westbrook:

I didn’t see it. I didn’t see it at all. Probably the guys that don’t play, probably over there the ones laughing, if I had to guess.

Good guess. It appears Montrezl Harrell and Bobby Brown – whose only playing time this series came late in Houston’s blowout Game 1 win – led the jeers.

But the most important thing for the Thunder is Roberson making his free throws. They need him on the court to defend James Harden, which exposes him to hacking. If Westbrook deflecting attention onto the Rockets’ benchwarmers helps Roberson at the line, great. But if not, the Rockets will keep having reasons to laugh.

Magic Johnson winks at bringing Paul George to Lakers

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Paul George-to-the-Lakers rumors have swirled for a while.

New Lakers president Magic Johnson will only fuel them.

Asked how he’d interact with the Pacers star to avoid tampering if they ran into each other, Johnson said on Jimmy Kimmel Live:

We’re going to say hi, because we know each other. You just can’t say, “Hey, I want you to come to the Lakers,” even though I’m going to be wink-winking like [blinks repeatedly]. You know what that means, right?

In explaining how he’d avoid tampering, Johnson probably tampered. Accidental tampering appears to be his specialty.

The Collective Bargaining Agreement says team employees can’t permissibly “induce, persuade, or attempt to entice, induce or persuade, any Player who is under contract to, or whose exclusive negotiating rights are held by, any other Member of the Association to enter into negotiations for or relating to his services or negotiate or contract for such services.” But the league arbitrarily enforces tampering, so who knows whether he’ll be punished?

Johnson almost certainly could have gotten away with the hypothetical conversation he laid out. But going on television and describing it — even as fantasy, even not directly to George — could constitute tampering in itself,

If Johnson helps attract George to Los Angeles, it’d well be worth it. At least he’s trying something.