This past weekend turned out to be a nightmare for a pair of Miami Heat players, as veteran forward Udonis Haslem and Indiana Pacers rookie forward Lance Stephen were both arrested in separate incidents.
Haslem was arrested and charged in Miami on Aug. 15 for speeding, driving a vehicle with illegally tinted windows and possession of more than 20 grams of marijuana. According to the Florida Highway Patrol records, the South Florida native was operating his 2008 Mercedes Benz at nearly 80 miles per hour in a 60-mile-per-hour zone. He was accompanied by passenger, who was also arrested after police smelled marijuana coming from the car. Haslem was cited for a third-degree felony possession charge with a maximum sentence of a $5,000 fine and/or five years in prison.
Pacers’ first round pick Lance Stephenson was also arrested over the weekend in New York for allegedly pushing his girlfriend, Jasmine Williams, down a flight of stairs, grabbing her by the head and slamming it on the bottom step. The New York Daily News reported that the incident led to Williams being treated at a New York hospital for injuries to her head and neck. Police say the incident began 5 a.m. Sunday morning as Williams was walking into her apartment with two friends. According to the police report, witnesses said Stephenson was waiting for her at the apartment and yelled at her before pushing her. Pacers president Larry Bird responded to the disturbing reports.
“The news of Lance Stephenson’s arrest is very disappointing to the Pacers franchise and to me personally,” Bird said in a statement published by ESPN. “We have worked very hard to bring in players that are excellent representatives of our franchise, community and state both on and off the court. Our commitment to this goal is too strong to permit the actions of one individual to reverse all of the positive strides that have been made as a franchise over the last couple of years or to hurt the image of the rest of the players on our team.”
Bird said he and the team will continue gathering information before they know how to “deal appropriately with Lance so that he, the team and the entire Pacers community understands that this message cannot be ignored.”