Not an ideal situation for a player heading into a summer where he will be a free agent, but this isn’t going to slow down teams interested in him.
Brooklyn’s D'Angelo Russell was detained at LaGuardia Airport in New York when he was found to be transporting a small amount of marijuana, something confirmed by the Port Authority of New York/New Jersey. The USA Today had details on the incident.
Russell, who was flying from LaGuardia Airport to Louisville International Airport, was questioned by police after a routine search by TSA workers flagged what at first glance appeared to be a can of Arizona Iced Tea in a checked bag, a person with knowledge of the incident told USA TODAY Sports. Upon further inspection, the can had a hidden compartment where marijuana was discovered.
Russell received a summons to appear in court for marijuana possession of less than 50 grams, according to the Port Authority spokesperson. The citation Russell received is a violation under New York law and is punishable by a fine of $100 or less.
Recreational marijuana use is still illegal in both New York and New Jersey. However, this small amount he had, a “personal use” amount, is not something state law comes down hard on.
“We have been made aware of the situation involving D’Angelo Russell and are in the process of gathering more information at this time,” the Brooklyn Nets said in a released statement.
Russell is coming off a breakout season where he was an All-Star and averaged 21.1 points and seven assists per game. What fueled his rise was his shooting improved — 36.9 percent from three, and a true shooting percentage of 53.3 that’s close to the league average. He was nailing floaters in the lane, and his more consistent jump shot opened up the rest of this game. He was a leader in Brooklyn and helped lift the Nets to the playoffs, where he and his team played tough but fell short against the more talented 76ers.
There’s a debate about what Russell is worth, both on the open market and to the Nets. They want to keep him, but his agent is looking for a point-guard hungry team that will sign him to a max deal, which would start at $27 million a season. The Nets may want to keep Russell, but that price likely makes them balk.
This situation is not going to slow down teams looking to sign Russell, an NBA player who uses marijuana is, shall we say, not exactly outside the norm. Teams know this and so long as it doesn’t impact his play on the court, teams tend not to worry about these things.