The good news just keeps coming...Brandon Rush of the Indiana Pacers has been suspended 5 games (ie first 5 games of the upcoming season) for testing positive to marijuana for the third time. Under current arrangements, teams do not find out about failed tests until a player is suspended.
According to Indystar:
"All NBA players are given four random drug tests a season, but the violations don't expire. Players enter a marijuana program after the first offense. They are fined $25,000 and have to re-enter the program after the second offense. As a third-time offender, Rush must re-enter the program and serve his suspension."
I don't want to get into a whole debate about marijuana use because it's clear from the message boards that a lot of people don't think it's a big deal. But the fact of the matter is, Brandon Rush broke rules he knew he shouldn't have broken, and for the amount of money he is being paid to be a professional athlete (especially one that is on his last chance to prove that be belongs in the NBA), his actions are inexcusable. This is not the first time -- it's his third.
At least it now explains Rush's frequent lack of passion and why he often looks lost on the court. It also goes a long way to explaining why the promising guard has been playing so inconsistently and below his potential.
Larry Bird said in a statement:
" We have been made aware that Brandon Rush has been suspended for violating the NBA’s anti-drug policy. We will do what we can to provide Brandon help going forward."
Doesn't sound like he's particularly surprised or disappointed. Hopefully this can be a wake-up call for Rush and he will finally grow up.