UPDATE 2:50 am: According to Chris Mannix, a source has told Sports Illustrated that Alston is now considering retirement.
1: 53 am: Rafer Alston has disappeared from the Miami Heat. No David Copperfield needed to make it happen, Alston was happy to burn this bridge all on his own. He just up and left the team. Drop the mic like a rapper at the end of the show and walk off the stage. That’s what he has done — and the team has now suspended him.
The timeline goes like this: Tuesday he was sat down after the first quarter and never returned to the game; Thursday night Alston was replaced in the starting lineup by Carlos Arroyo; Friday morning he does not show up to practice (something the Heat did not disclose); Saturday he did not show up for the game.
He did bother to send a text message. Very considerate.
He is now under indefinite suspension from the Heat, and nobody is betting on him ever returning to the team.
If Alston wants to know why Eric Spoelstra demoted him, maybe it has something to do with his 35% shooting percentage since he joined the Heat as a free agent Jan. 7. And that he was doing that while trying to create more shots off the dribble than he ever had in the past. Or that his play could be summed up well by his 7.7 PER since joining the Heat, which usually means “meet the D-League.”
Alston has had a very nice 11-year career in the NBA, but one that may be coming to an end — team’s don’t put up with antics like this unless your are a super-star. Alston is not.