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NBA suspends Kemp
Associated Press Wednesday, February 12
Orlando — Orlando Magic centre Shawn Kemp was suspended
without pay by the NBA on Tuesday, the third time he has
violated the terms of the league's anti-drug policy.
Kemp's suspension began with Tuesday night's game against the
New Jersey Nets, and will continue until he has resumed full
compliance with his treatment program.
Orlando coach Doc Rivers received word of the suspension from
general manager John Gabriel when he was getting into to his
car to drive to the arena for the game.
"We don't know whether the program was violated or he just
missed a test. You just hope things work out for him," Rivers
said. "The basketball side of it with him I could honestly
care less. He's not a bad guy at all."
Kemp practiced Monday and participated in the Magic's Tuesday
morning shoot around at the TD Waterhouse Centre. Gabriel
spoke with him by telephone in the afternoon, but did not shed
any light on why the 13th-year pro was suspended.
"I have no reaction because it's not clear what we would be
reacting to," Gabriel said.
Asked how Kemp responded, Gabriel said: "He's just
disappointed at the news. I can't elaborate."
A year ago, when he was with the Portland Trail Blazers, the
6-foot-10 Kemp was suspended for five games for violating the
policy. He sat out from Feb. 22 through March 4 and lost
$141,889 of his $12.77-million salary for each game he missed.
The 33-year-old Kemp, a six-time All-Star, also missed the
final eight games of the 2000-2001 season, taking a leave of
absence from Portland and entering a substance abuse program.
Because he volunteered to enter a program, he was not
suspended by the league at that time.
Certain substances, such as cocaine and LSD, call for
dismissal from the league, although players may apply for
reinstatement after two years.
The league, its teams and the players' association are
prohibited from publicly disclosing information regarding the
testing or treatment of any player in the program, other than
to announce a player's suspension or dismissal from the
Kemp has started 42 of 50 games he's played this season,
averaging 7.9 points and 6.4 rebounds in 23.1 minutes.