Dwight Howard has license suspended, ran 10 red lights

Dwight-Howard-LakersIt’s pretty safe to say that Dwight Howard does not feel the rules apply to him … or at least the rules of the road.

The Houston Rockets center had his driver’s license suspended in the state of Florida on Aug. 15 for a number of infractions.

According to court records, Howard was ticketed for running 9 red lights in 2012. He ran another one in July this year, making it an even 10 in three years.

Additionally, Reuters says he has four speeding tickets, 12 citations for failing to pay highway tolls and one for failing to change his address on his license on his Orlando record. Incredibly, Howard just needs to pay a $285 fine for running a red light in Florida to resolve everything.

Prior to signing with the Rockets last year, Howard spent 2004-2012 with the Orlando Magic, where he became a menace on the road (or just a dude who runs red lights). He’s probably not in Florida enough to be seriously concerned about resolving the matter. But this means he’s more similar to Andrew Bynum than we originally thought.

This song goes out to Dwight, from LBS, keep on with those red lights …

Greg Oden reportedly had alcohol problem last season

Greg OdenDetails about a sad truth concerning Greg Oden are emerging this week: the often-injured center has an alcohol problem that was an issue last season.

In a 2012 article on Grantland, Oden told former Ohio State teammate Mark Titus that he became an alcoholic during his second season in Portland.

“If you know anything about guys in the Air Force,” Oden explained, “it’s that they drink a ton. My cousin got wrapped up in the NBA lifestyle and threw parties at my house all the time. So I got wrapped up in it too. When I played well, I’d drink to celebrate. And when I played poorly, I’d drink to forget. That second year in Portland I pretty much became an alcoholic.”

It sounds like not much has changed in that regard.

Oden, who spent most of last season on the bench for the Miami Heat while recovering from his knee injuries, was arrested last month for allegedly punching his girlfriend multiple times. He has been charged with a felony and is due in court this week. He was drinking that night and his girlfriend told police Oden “sometimes gets upset when he drinks.”

In a column this week about Oden, ESPN’s Michael Wallace discussed some of the alcohol issues the center had last seaosn.

Privately, his battle with personal demons still raged, according to multiple sources. Alcohol abuse remained a concern last season as he sat out many games because of soreness in his knees and back.
He didn’t hang out with many teammates when he did travel, choosing instead to venture out alone or with friends outside of the team.

Additionally, Miami Heat reporter Ethan J. Skolnick of Bleacher Report said after traveling with the team last season, he was not surprised to learn that alcohol was involved in the domestic incident.

It’s really a shame with Oden. On the outside, he seems to handle the reality about being a huge bust pretty well. He’s honest about it and shares self-deprecating humor. But those are probably just attempts to mask the pain. It’s hard for anyone to live that kind of life — always injured and considered a disappointment.

Mario Chalmers: Heat took a ‘back seat’ in NBA Finals

mario-chalmersThe Miami Heat were unable to win a third consecutive NBA championship this past summer because they ran into a much better team. The San Antonio Spurs simply had better coaching and were more complete. And the way Mario Chalmers played certainly didn’t help Miami.

Chalmers knows that. He also feels that the Heat didn’t put him in the best position to contribute and that the entire team took a “back seat” in the NBA Finals.

“Everybody in my ear, talking about, ‘We need you, we need you to do this, we need you to do that.'” Chalmers told Ethan Skolnick of Bleacher Report. “And then when it comes to the game, I didn’t feel involved. Like, you all talk about how y’all need me, but y’all didn’t put me in position to do anything. In previous years, if I was in that position, I would make sure I would go get the ball, I would put myself in position to score. I felt like this year, we all just took too much of a back seat in the Finals.”

Chalmers said he sat at home and “pouted” after the Spurs went on to win the series. He also acknowledged that his 4.4 points, 2.0 turnovers and 3.2 fouls per game hurt the Heat. When Miami decided to draft former UConn point guard Shabazz Napier, Chalmers wasn’t confident he would be back.

The former Kansas star is sticking around, but LeBron James did not. However, Chalmers feels LeBron’s departure could open up opportunities for him to show he can compete at a high level in addition to allowing the Heat to go overlooked.

“I feel like I’ve finally got a chance to shine, show my real game,” he said. “Me, CB, D-Wade and the rest of the guys, we’re going to pick it up, we’re still going to play Miami Heat basketball, and we’re still gonna be a competitor.”

It will be tough to compete with LeBron, Kevin Love and Kyrie Irving. The Cleveland Cavaliers are the favorites in the Eastern Conference for obvious reasons, but I agree with Chalmers that the Heat aren’t getting enough credit. If Dwyane Wade can get healthy during the offseason, they should still be in the mix come playoff time.

Delonte West reportedly signs with Yao Ming’s Chinese team

Delonte West terminator

Delonte West is taking his talents to China — again.

According to Cleveland Plain Dealer reporter Chris Haynes, West has reached agreement on a one-year deal with the Shanghai Sharks of the Chinese Basketball Association.

The Sharks are owned by Yao Ming, who bought the team in 2009. Yao played for the Sharks from 1997-2002 before leaving for the NBA.

This will be West’s second straight season in China. He played in the NBA from 2004-2012 but had many problems and has not been in the league since being released by the Mavericks following multiple issues. West played with the Clippers’ summer league team but did not end up signed to their roster. He indicated he was hoping for another NBA shot, but it does not look like that will happen anytime soon for the 31-year-old.

Danny Ferry audio on Luol Deng makes GM look worse

Danny Ferry’s explanation that he was merely reading from a scouting report when he made racist comments about Luol Deng seems less believable now that the audio has been released.

On Thursday the Atlanta Journal-Constitution posted audio from the conference call Ferry had with several Atlanta Hawks owners on June 6 to discuss free agents. The clip they shared (which you can hear above) includes Ferry’s analysis of Deng.

Danny Ferry Hawks

As you can tell, it sounds like Ferry is speaking extemporaneously and adding personal commentary, even though he may be using some notes/profiles on a player as a guidance. When Ferry says Deng “has some African in him,” one voice even cautions that that’s the type of racist statement that could end up on TMZ the way Donald Sterling’s comments did.

As examples to show what he meant about having “some African in him,” Ferry said Deng could be the kind of guy who’s a lawyer in the locker room when the coach is not around and model citizen when the coaches are around, or the type of guy who would be a source for a newspaper report and then deny he made the comments. He also described Deng as someone who was “good for the culture but not a culture setter” while playing for the Bulls.

The comments reflect extremely poorly upon Ferry. He could have very easily have made his point by describing Deng as “two-faced,” but instead chose to make a racist remark. I have to imagine some more public discipline will be coming for Ferry now that this audio has been released.

I still think the minority owner behind the Ferry audio and Bruce Levenson email is seeking power rather than racial justice, but there’s little doubt the two men incriminated themselves.

Paul George defends Ray Rice, says Janay Palmer hit him first

Ray Rice RavensEveryone is entitled to their own opinion, but professional athletes should have enough common sense to know that if they have an opinion supporting Ray Rice it needs to be kept quiet. Indiana Pacers star Paul George didn’t seem too worried about that when he reminded his Twitter followers on Thursday that Janay Palmer hit Rice first.

While George made sure to specify that he doesn’t condone hitting a woman, he made it clear that he believes Rice should not be suspended indefinitely because, in George’s opinion, the former Baltimore Ravens running back was provoked.

Naturally, George has already deleted the tweets and issued an apology.

First of all, we have no idea what happened leading up to the elevator incident. You can’t conclude that Palmer attacked Rice from the footage that has been shown, because we don’t know when the confrontation started. We do know that Rice spat on his now-wife twice before he punched her and rendered her unconscious.

But let’s say Palmer did attack Rice. Does what he did constitute defending yourself? Of course not. He’s an NFL player. He could have easily restrained Palmer without clubbing her in the head. George certainly isn’t the only person who feels Rice was provoked, but he should have kept his opinion to himself.

Greg Monroe reportedly urinated on himself during DUI arrest

Greg-Monroe-mug-shotDetroit Pistons forward Greg Monroe was arrested for driving while under the influence back in February. Getting popped for a DUI is never a good look, but it becomes an even worse look when you piss your pants during the booking process.

According to the Huntington Woods police report obtained by MLive.com’s Gus Burns, Monroe “urinated on himself” while he was in the process of being arrested. He also expressed concern over the pubic finding out about his arrest.

“I’m just trying not to be in the newspaper,” Monroe told officers. “I play for the Pistons.”

An officer then told Monroe that they don’t tell people about arrests they make, but we all know how that goes. It’s public information, so there’s nothing Monroe could have done about it once he was booked and charged.

The strangest thing about the ordeal is that Monroe had a blood alcohol level .089 when he blew into a breathalyzer. That’s just slightly above the legal limit of .08, though that number went up to .1 when Monroe was tested again at the station. Still, is that drunk enough to pee yourself? Maybe the big man was just nervous.

Monroe pleaded guilty in April and has been suspended for two games.

H/T Eye on Basketball