Brooklyn Nets point guard D’Angelo Russell enjoyed a career season in 2019, shooting lights out from deep and eluding defenders en route to the Nets’ first postseason birth since 2012-13.
Unfortunately for Russell, he’s not as elusive with Airport security as he is with NBA defenders.
On Wednesday, Russell was cited for marijuana possession at LaGuardia Airport, after being detained by TSA officials following a baggage check.
D’Angelo Russell Caught with Marijuana
According to the New York Post, the 23-year-old Russell was en-route to his hometown of Louisville, Ky., where his father still resides, before airport security discovered weed during a routine search. The weed was allegedly stored in an Arizona Iced Tea “stash can.”
According to a Port Authority spokesperson, he point guard received a summons to appear in court for marijuana possession of less than 50 grams, and will likely have to pay a fine of $100 or less.
The incident, albeit a small one, comes at a somewhat precarious time for the first-time All-Star. Russell put up career numbers this past season, including personal bests in ppg (21.1) and assists (7.0). He is heading towards restricted free agency and will seek close to the league max.
This small transgression shouldn’t play a factor in the Nets’ interest, however. Despite the incident, of which the Nets are fully aware of, ESPN reported Thursday that the Nets will try to strike a deal with Russell before he even hits restricted free agency on July 1st.
Russell’s Projected ‘Punishment’
It is likely Russell will be required to join the league’s marijuana program as a first-time offender. Under the NBA’s current collective bargaining agreement, any player that “has been convicted of (including a plea of guilty, no contest or nolo contendere to) the use or possession of marijuana in violation of the law,” will be required to join the program. A second violation would result in a $25,000 fine and the third, a suspension of five games.
The NBA could make some changes to its marijuana policy going forward, however. Marijuana usage amongst players is one of the worst-kept secrets in the league, and back in December, Commissioner Adam Silver stated that he would consider making adjustments to league rules, walking back on some of his previous comments.
“I understand that for some players … that marijuana is a way of dealing with those issues,” Silver told Bleacher Report.