Injured Charlotte Hornets center Al Jefferson has been suspended five games for violating the NBA/NBPA Anti-Drug Program, the league announced Wednesday.
There’s only one violation of the drug policy that warrants a five-game suspension, and that’s a third marijuana offense:
— Taco Trey Kerby (@treykerby) December 9, 2015
The Hornets released a statement following the NBA’s announcement (via Hornets.com):
“We are disappointed in Al’s decisions that led to this suspension. 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.”
Jefferson released an apology:
“I want to apologize to the Hornets organization, our owner, my teammates and my coaches for the poor decision that I made. 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.”
Jefferson has missed the Hornets’ last three games with a calf injury, and he’s expected to miss another week or two. The suspension will go into effect once he’s physically able to play again.
Jefferson is averaging 13.7 points and 6.4 rebounds while shooting 50 percent from the field. Charlotte is 2-1 in the last three games without the big man.