We tell you when these cases come up, it’s only right we also tell you when they go away.
Which is what happened in the case of Celtics second-year player Jared Sullinger. On Aug. 31 he had a fight with his girlfriend and a few days later he was arrested and eventually arraigned on charges of assault and battery, destruction of property, and intimidation of a witness.
However, from the start Sullinger’s girlfriend, Deann Smith, asked that the charges be dropped, and she eventually got her way, reports Masslive.com (hat tip to Royce at EOB).
Smith has repeatedly asked that the charges be dropped, and it was her refusal to testify against Sullinger that ultimately led to the case’s conclusion. Through her attorney, Smith informed the Middlesex District Attorney Marian T. Ryan’s office that she would exercise her Fifth Amendment rights if called as a witness.
No witness, no case.
Since we don’t know the details of what happened and it is between Sullinger and Smith, I’m not going to comment beyond that. Here is the statement Sullinger gave after his arrest.
“I voluntarily reported to the Waltham police this morning to respond to charges against me. The experience was humbling and embarrassing for me. Yet I know that this situation has brought both sorrow and embarrassment to my girlfriend, my family, the Boston Celtics organization, my teammates, and my fans. To all of you, I apologize from the bottom of my heart.”
Suge Knight is facing a murder, threat and robbery charges in three separate cases.
The former rap mogul was in court yesterday to set a trial date for the murder charge.
Marisa Gerber of the Los Angeles Times:
A few minutes later, during a separate hearing in the criminal threats proceeding, another judge asked Knight to return to his courtroom in May. The judge then turned to Knight, asking who he thought would win the NBA playoffs.
“At this time…” Knight said, before the judge cut him off, saying he wanted a once-and-for-all answer.
“Houston,” Knight responded.
“Alright, Houston. Good pick,” the judge said.
Shortly after Giannis Antetokounmpo led the Bucks to a Game 4 win over the Celtics on Sunday, someone eating at a Milwaukee taco restaurant tweeted a photo of the Greek Freak waiting for a table. According to the tweeter, nobody helped Antetokounmpo at all.
The picture went viral.
The restaurant claims a manager greeted Antetokounmpo and released surveillance footage to prove it:
“We appreciate everyone’s passion for treating Giannis and all customers with great customer service,” Monday’s follow-up read. “It is something we strive to do every day. We reviewed the entryway footage from last night, and we are proud to reaffirm that Giannis was promptly greeted by our manager and told the wait time. Giannis has been a customer many times and he has graciously accepted our apology for not being able to seat him and other customers more quickly last night. Our focus is now on supporting our team on this playoff run. Go Bucks.”
The release concluded with the hashtag #TacoBoutAMisunderstanding.
For his part, Antetokounmpo never griped publicly about the taco restaurant. The wait was longer then he wanted so he went elsewhere.
He has more important issues to focus on – like Game 5 in Boston tonight.
Kevin Durant liked an Instagram comment critical of Russell Westbrook.
Here we go again?
Royce Young of ESPN:
I’m not inside Durant’s mind. He could be lying to cover another burner Instagram snafu.
But I tend to believe him. It’s easy enough to accidentally click like, and the greater context is on his side.
Durant has always tried to downplay a feud with Westbrook. Even at the personal rivalry’s peak, Durant just seemed as if he wanted Westbrook to like him. So, it’s nearly impossible to believe Durant – even for a button-pushing moment – wanted to publicly slight Westbrook.
But maybe Durant wanted quiresultan or some other alter-ego to do so? Maybe, as beaten down as he looked by the controversy over those deleted tweets last summer, Durant didn’t learn his lesson and still uses burner accounts. I certainly wouldn’t rule that out.
Again, though, this would be a weird message. Last summer’s deleted tweets praised Westbrook while slamming the rest of the Thunder. Durant was going to have a burner account take the opposite stance now? That doesn’t really add up.
The NBA has a hard rule during altercations: Any players who leave the bench area receives a one-game suspension. Intent doesn’t matter. It’s not negotiable. The league simply doesn’t want more players entering a fracas.
Russell Westbrook found a gray area last night.
The Thunder star was waiting to check into Oklahoma City’s Game 4 loss to the Jazz when Raymond Felton fouled Rudy Gobert, um, unpleasantly. Gobert and Felton got into it, though not immediately. Once they did, Westbrook walked onto the court, and he and Gobert swiped at each other.
Gobert and Felton eventually received technical fouls. But could harsher punishment be in store, especially for Westbrook?
Andy Larsen of KSL.com:
A pool reporter request to the game officials to ask them about the play was initiated, but the NBA indicated that the officials wouldn’t comment on the matter because it would be reviewed by the league’s disciplinary committee.
The key question should be: Did a referee already beckon Westbrook into the game? If one did, Westbrook shouldn’t be suspended. If none did, Westbrook should be suspended.
The league will talk to the refs and get a better understanding of what happened. Their account matters most.
But one indicator working against Westbrook: Steven Adams – whose toughness is beyond reproach – was also waiting to check in and stayed on the sideline. If Adams had already entered the game, wouldn’t he have gotten involved? Maybe not, but his hanging back is circumstantial evidence pointing toward a Westbrook suspension.
Again, though, the referees’ accounts matter far more.