(Screenshot from Pacers.com)
Brandon Rush has been suspended five games for failing a drug test.
Rush has been suspended without pay for five games for violating the terms of the NBA/NBPA Anti-Drug Program. He started 64 games for the Pacers last season and averaged 9.4 points.
Failing one test (most likely for weed given the penalty, I say completely speculating) in the offseason might not be the worst thing in the world, some Pacers fans might say. But this was not his first time.
It was the third drug test Brandon has failed, as Mike Wells noted on Twitter.
Teams aren’t informed about the first 2 failed test. They don’t know about the situation until the player fails a 3rd time and is suspended.
Rich Nye the Sports Guy (who could be the center of a pretty good Bill Simmons/Bill Nye venn diagram) summed the whole situation up best in his Facebook status update.
Brandon Rush suspended 5 games for violating the NBA anti-drug policy. Seriously? I would really like to stop picking on the Pacers. But self-inflicted problems just don’t stop.
I make jokes because, really, what else is there to do at this point?
But, yeah, this is ridiculous.
The team spent the past several years in salary cap hell, and the ultimate payoff of living in that limbo of mediocrity was supposed to be having a team that could “restore the pride” and transform the Pacers into a team of citizens who fans could once again root for without feeling dirty. Management has spent the past several summers drafting mature, NBA-ready players, who while perhaps lacking the tremendous upside potential of some of their peers, would be men of character that the people of Indiana could be proud to applaud.
With Lance Stephenson, they deviated from that course and got a PR blackeye. And with this recent trouble for Brandon, someone who supposedly epitomized that ideal, they have gotten another one.
So it’s back to familiar territory: damage control.
Silver lining: by now the team probably at least has a PR crisis management expert on retainer. So there’s that.