LAWRENCE | Former Kansas basketball players Darrell Arthur and Mario Chalmers were kicked out of the NBA’s rookie transition program on Wednesday after being caught with marijuana in their hotel room in Rye Brook, N.Y., sources told ESPN The Magazine.
“They were sent home for violating program rules,” NBA spokesman Brian McIntyre told the magazine.Chalmers and Arthur were instrumental in KU’s run to the 2008 national championship. Chalmers, of course, hit the 3-pointer to send the NCAA title game against Memphis to overtime, while Arthur had 20 points and 10 rebounds. Both players decided to leave Kansas early for the NBA.
Sources told the magazine that Chalmers, a Miami Heat point guard, and Arthur, a Memphis Grizzlies forward, were also fined $20,000 apiece and will begin the season on the league’s suspended list. McIntyre would not confirm that to the magazine.
The initial ESPN report said that former Kansas State player and No. 2 overall pick Michael Beasley was in the room, but later reports removed the reference to Beasley being present. The earlier report said Beasley was deemed not to be connected to the marijuana.
Thus far, the decision to leave early for the NBA has not benefited Chalmers and Arthur. Both players were picked later than they would have liked – Arthur fell to New Orleans at No. 27 overall and Chalmers fell out of the first round before being taken at No. 34 by Minnesota.
Now, they have been asked to leave the NBA’s rookie transition program, a four-day seminar which informs 69 rookies about life in the league.
The magazine said that Chalmers and Arthur will have to go through the program again next season.