In a shocking turn of events, the Grizzlies will enter the postseason with a murky situation surrounding the backup point guard position, as according to various outlets, Nick Calathes has been suspended for 20 games by the NBA for violating the league’s anti-drug policy.
Yahoo! Sports reports that the rookie point guard tested positive for Tamoxifen, a banned substance contained within an athletic supplement used by Calathes. According to the report, “NBA lab results found no traces of synthetic testosterone or performance-enhancing drugs, and, as one source told Yahoo Sports, ‘There was no intent, nor advantage gained here.'”
It’s an unfortunate end to what had been a refreshing evolution at the backup point guard spot for the Grizzlies, and a feel-good turnaround for Calathes who worked his way from being booed at the Forum to Western Conference Rookie of the Month. Nonetheless, rules are rules, and regardless of intent, professional athletes must be more careful than ever about what they are putting into their bodies.
In turn, the Grizzlies now enter the playoffs relying on a mid-season pickup to man the point for the second unit, yet again for the playoff stretch. If there’s any bright side to this, Beno Udrih, claimed off waivers after being released from the mess in New York, has long been a capable floor general in this league, and should be more than prepared to handle the road ahead of him.
*Update* NBA Player’s Union stands behind Calathes, calls suspension an “injustice”.