Charlotte Hornets center Al Jefferson has been suspended five games for a violation of the NBA/NBPA’s Anti-Drug Program.
Jefferson, 30, has missed Charlotte’s last three games with a calf injury and is expected out another week or two. His suspension begins with the next game he is eligible and physically able to play.
“We are disappointed in Al’s decisions that led to this suspension,” the Hornets wrote in a statement. “As an organization, we do not condone this behavior. We have addressed this with Al. He is regretful and understands that we expect him to learn from this mistake.”
“I want to apologize to the Hornets organization, our owner, my teammates and my coaches for the poor decision that I made,” Jefferson added in a statement of his own. “I know I have let people down, especially the Hornets fans that have been so supportive of me since I arrived in Charlotte two years ago. I am blessed to be able to play the game that I love for a living and I do not take that for granted. From the bottom of my heart, I am truly sorry, and I am committed to making smarter decisions in the future.”
As USA Today’s Jeff Zillgitt points out, players receive five-game suspensions from the league for a third positive marijuana test, according to the drug policy.
Jefferson is averaging 13.7 points, 6.4 rebounds and 1.1 blocks for the 12–8 Hornets, who are 2–1 without him in the lineup this season.
- Jeremy Woo