The stars of the Phoenix Suns just can’t seem to avoid trouble off the court.
Forward Cliff Robinson was charged early Monday with driving under the influence and marijuana possession after police stopped his car in suburban Scottsdale.
In less than two months, the three best players on the team have been arrested. Guard Penny Hardaway was charged Dec. 14 with intimidation, and guard Jason Kidd was charged Jan. 18 with assaulting his wife. Hardaway’s charge was dropped when the woman involved declined to testify and Kidd’s case is pending.
Police said they stopped Robinson’s car about 1:30 a.m. Monday because it was going 55 mph in a 40-mph zone and weaving in and out of traffic.
Robinson initially refused to get out of the car and twice refused a field sobriety test, police spokesman Scott Reed said. Robinson later submitted to a blood-alcohol test, but the results won’t be known for several days. Police said they also found a pipe and a small foil packet of what they believed to be marijuana.
“I want to say this is a very embarrassing situation for myself, especially under the circumstances that we’ve been going through,” Robinson said in a brief statement to reporters with Sun owner Jerry Colangelo at his side. “I definitely want to apologize to my teammates and the organization for putting the added stress on the team.”
Washington Wizard forward Michael Smith was charged with driving while intoxicated in Springfield, Va., the second team member to be charged with drunken driving in the last 30 days.
Police said Smith, observed driving erratically on Interstate 395, failed several sobriety tests and also failed a breathalyzer test at the county jail. They refused to release Smith’s blood-alcohol level.
Smith’s arrest follows last month’s arrest of guard Rod Strickland.
Cash and jewelry totaling as much as $250,000 were stolen from swingman Jalen Rose of the Indiana Pacers during Saturday’s game at Milwaukee’s Bradley Center, police said.
Custom jewelry worth between $200,000 and $250,000 was later found under some seats at the arena and returned to Rose, but more than $2,000 in cash remained missing, police said.
Police said Rose and other Pacers had given their money and jewelry to an attendant before the game.
Golden State Warrior guard Mookie Blaylock was stripped of his captaincy after skipping practice, reportedly to play golf. Antawn Jamison took Blaylock’s place as captain, a team spokesman said. Blaylock also didn’t start Monday at San Antonio. . . . Saying the public is not ready for players such as the tattooed and cornrowed Allen Iverson to be the face of the NBA, Billy Hunter, executive director of the players union, will discuss the league’s image with Commissioner David Stern, owners and players Friday in Washington during the All-Star break.