|10-21-2004, 03:00 PM||#1|
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: Eastlake OH
Carmelo Anthony cited for marijuana possession
Claims it was his "friend's bag."
Thursday, October 21, 2004
DENVER -- Carmelo Anthony was cited for marijuana possession while boarding the team plane last week, though the Denver Nuggets star says the bag was left in his backpack by a friend.
Anthony, 20, was issued a summons last Friday at Denver International Airport while the Nuggets were waiting to board a flight to Milwaukee for a preseason game. Anthony's attorney, Daniel Recht, said he wasn't aware the marijuana was there and that it was left there by an out-of-town friend who borrowed the backpack last week.
"The friend obviously uses marijuana and left a small amount in the backpack when he returned it to Carmelo," Recht said Thursday. "Carmelo had no idea there was any marijuana in the backpack."
Anthony was charged with possessing less than 1 ounce of marijuana, a petty offense with a maximum $100 fine and no jail time. He was in Los Angeles for a preseason game against the Clippers and not immediately available for comment.
Recht said he has met with a city attorney and requested the citation be dismissed. He also said the friend acknowledged the marijuana was his and would come forward to accept responsibility as early as Thursday.
Recht also said he received a letter from Nuggets general manager Kiki Vandeweghe verifying Anthony passed four random drug tests last season and another just two weeks ago. The letter also said tests from U.S. Olympic Committee at the Athens Games this summer came back negative.
"He was devastated to learn there was marijuana left in the backpack," Recht said.
The charismatic Anthony led Syracuse to an NCAA title as a freshman in 2003, then was the third overall pick in the draft. He helped the Nuggets to one of the biggest turnarounds in NBA history, from the league's worst record at 17-65 to reaching the playoffs last year for the first time since 1995.
There also have been some growing pains.
Anthony refused to go back into a game last season after his teammates complained about his shot selection and he was relegated to the bench at the Athens Games after U.S. coach Larry Brown called him a selfish player.
Anthony also was involved in a scuffle at a New York bar after someone reportedly spit on his girlfriend, MTV host La La Vasquez. He said the incident was blown out of proportion.