Brandon Rush is serving a five-game suspension for failing three drug tests will lose about $115,000. Pacers head coach Jim O’Brien understands the rule and backed the NBA’s decision, but he doesn’t know why the team needs to be punished, too and all the secrecy.
“I understand them suspending the player and withholding his wages for five games,” O’Brien told The Indianapolis Star. “The nature of the situation is that we’re not informed a player has failed the drug test the first or second time, and we’re not told he has a problem. Then they turn around and penalize a franchise.
“I don’t understand where that comes from, frankly. If we were the ones drug testing and we were the ones that knew and were responsible to get him back on track after the first one, I understand that, but I can’t follow this.”
The Pacers are being punished, according to O’Brien, because the team is only allowed to have 11 active players during Rush’s suspension.