Chris Copeland apologizes for being out late, which is completely unnecessary

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Pacers forward Chris Copeland was stabbed between 3 and 4 a.m. Wednesday morning outside a New York nightclub.

He suffered wounds serious enough to require surgery, reportedly even going to the ICU afterward.

He is the victim. Yet, he’s also apologizing.

Pacers release:

Chris Copeland Update:

Pacers forward Chris Copeland underwent surgery Wednesday on his abdomen and left elbow for stab wounds sustained early Wednesday morning in New York City. He is in stable condition at a New York City hospital. At this point there is no timetable for how long he will remain in the hospital.

Statement from Chris Copeland:

“I want to thank all the fans, friends, teammates, coaches and the Pacers organization for their support and prayers during this time. I also want to apologize to everyone, particularly the NBA and the Pacers for my bad choice at being out at that time. I am doing as well as can be expected and I will work hard to make a full recovery.”

If Copeland wants to apologize, that’s his prerogative.

But it’s completely unnecessary.

The Pacers had a shootaround scheduled for 11 a.m. Wednesday morning. That left plenty of time for Copeland – if he hadn’t been stabbed – to sleep. Plus, he easily could have taken a long nap before the 7:30 p.m. game against the Knicks.

And all that dozing would have likely just prepared him to sit on the bench. Copeland has played sparingly over the last few months, and Paul George’s return only further closed the door to playing time.

Plus, Copeland a grown man capable of managing his own time.

Those facts haven’t stopped many from criticizing him for being out too late, and it’d be a shame if Copeland felt compelled to respond to that paternalistic crowd. Their complaints are silly, especially their call for a curfew.

We still don’t know much about what happened that night. But I know enough to know Copeland doesn’t need to apologize for the hour he got stabbed.