Udonis Haslem started the Heat party a bit early

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Thumbnail image for udonis_haslem.jpgUPDATE Aug. 16, 9:12 am: Here comes the defense, and to be blunt (pardon the pun) it’s a pretty familiar… It wasn’t his, it was the passengers, he didn’t even know it was there. You know, all the stuff you told your parents as a teenager when they thought they smelled chronic in the car after you borrowed it.

Ira Winderman of the South Florida Sun Sentinel (and us here at NBC) spoke with Haslem’s attorney:

“All the marijuana in the car, according to the police report, belonged to the passenger. The passenger admitted it.”


“Haslem has done nothing wrong. He did not know it was there. He’s being targeted because he’s a high-profile NBA player.”

You can decide for yourself the validity of those statements. Well, you and the judge.

Aug: 15, 9:41 pm: Expect to hear a lot of jokes about Udonis Haslem getting a head start on the Heat’s 2011 championship they’ve supposedly already won (as Dwyane Wade said, “the hard part’s over” after all).

WSVN in Miami reports that Haslem was pulled over in Miami-Dade county Sunday for illegal window tint, whereupon the officer smelled that particular odor reminiscent of marijuana cigarettes. After searching the car, Haslem and his passenger were charged with possession of marijuana, along with the window-tint charge and speeding.

TMZ reports that the arresting officers found less than 20 grams of marijuana. Reports are sketchy at this time whether that amount is sufficient to get Jazz rookie Gordon Hayward stoned back to third grade (or in other words, two weeks ago) (double-zing!).

It’s at this point I’m supposed to tell you about how the Heat don’t need these kinds of distractions, or that it’s reminiscent of how the Heat aren’t mature enough to contend, or some other nonsense based on a largely insignificant charge that will have no long-term repercussions.

Haslem, to public knowledge, has not had another drug run-in recently, and therefore won’t be impacted by suspensions (it’s only on third incidents that the league hands down suspensions). The shocking thing about this is not that Haslem was arrested for marijuana possession, but that of every single person in Miami-Dade county in possession of marijuana today at 3PM, Haslem was the one that got busted.

Ah, we’ve reached that magical moment each year, where NBA players start filling out the police blotter. Fall is right around the corner!

Report: Raptors could get OG Anunoby back during Finals

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The Toronto Raptors are headed to the 2019 NBA Finals, and they are going to need every player on their roster if they want a chance at dethroning the Golden State Warriors.

Forward OG Anunoby has been out since early April after needing an emergency appendectomy. He has not played in the playoffs yet this season, but a new report says the Raptors may be hopeful he could return before the end of this final series.

Via Twitter:

Anunoby Is a useful second-year forward who plays hard on both ends of the floor. Toronto is going to have a hard time matching up with the Warriors defensively, whether Kevin Durant plays or not. Having Anunoby available would help Toronto be more switchable and more adept at taking on some of Golden State’s smaller lineups.

We don’t have a timetable for Anunoby’s potential return yet, but the way the Finals are spaced out (Game 1 is on Thursday, Game 2 is next Sunday) it could help get players healthy and ready.

That could be good news for Kawhi Leonard, who sat out several games this year simply to rest. Leonard has looked a little banged up through these playoffs, as has just about everyone else. The bad news for Toronto is that this time between games could also help the Warriors get Durant ready to play.

Game 1 of the 2019 NBA Finals is on Thursday at 6 p.m. PST in Canada.

Drake gave Nick Nurse another shoulder rub (VIDEO)

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People are already getting tired of Drake being a prominent figure in the storyline of the Toronto Raptors. They will have to just deal with it for now as Toronto is headed to the 2019 NBA Finals after beating the Milwaukee Bucks in Game 6 of the Eastern Conference Finals on Saturday night.

That said, Drake is actually an ambassador for the Raptors. Some folks seem to forget that.

There was a dust-up during the Eastern Conference Finals about Drake having given Raptors coach Nick Nurse a shoulder rub during Game 4. Bucks coach Mike Budenholzer thought that fans shouldn’t be interacting with members of the coaching staff or players, but the Raptors didn’t seem to think it was that big a deal.

After the Raptors won on Saturday, Drake embraced Nurse yet again, playing off of the initial kerfuffle.

Via Twitter:

Get ready to see more Drake than you’ve ever wanted.

Watch Raptors fans celebrate Finals berth in streets of Toronto (VIDEO)

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The Toronto Raptors are headed to their first NBA Finals in franchise history. Kawhi Leonard and Kyle Lowry beat Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Milwaukee Bucks on Saturday night in Game 6 to send them home and push Toronto into the final series of the year against the Golden State Warriors.

Raptors fans, who have been perennially disappointed by teams who were just good enough, naturally found themselves celebrating in the streets of Ontario. Videos of cars honking and people walking through the avenues surfaced on social media, with the whole thing looking like a big party.

Via Twitter:

The Raptors aren’t the most talented team in the Eastern Conference, but they did have the best player in the entire playoffs this season in Leonard. Coach Nick Nurse figured out a way to stop the Bucks by collapsing on Antetokounmpo, and Milwaukee’s shooters went cold at just the wrong time. The rest of the Raptors bench finally gave Leonard some support, and Toronto was able to mount a comeback in the series to push themselves into the NBA finals.

For that, both Toronto and the Raptors fans deserve to be overjoyed with what’s happening right now.

Game 1 of the 2019 NBA Finals will be on Thursday at 6 p.m. PST in Toronto.

Bucks fans greet team, Giannis Antetokounmpo at Milwaukee airport (VIDEO)

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The Milwaukee Bucks season is over. Giannis Antetokounmpo and his supporting cast couldn’t get things done in Game 6 on Saturday night against the Toronto Raptors in Canada. Now it’s Kawhi Leonard who is heading to the 2019 NBA Finals against the Golden State Warriors.

This season was a magical one for Milwaukee, one in which they took the No. 1 overall seed in the Eastern Conference and likely have the league’s MVP in Antetokounmpo.

As you might expect, Bucks fans are happy about that fact, and showed up to the Milwaukee’s Mitchell Airport to greet their returning team.

Via Twitter:

It has to be nice for athletes to get this kind of treatment. Although some may want to just go home and languish in their defeat, the unwavering support of fanatics has to take the bite out of the sting, even if just a little bit.