There were many Suns fans who wanted the team to go after Mario Chalmers as the Kansas guard tumbled to the second round of the draft in June.
Perhaps this week we’ve gained some insight into why one thing didn’t happen and the other one did.
Chalmers and his Jayhawk teammate Darrell Arthur — who also, incidentally, dropped like a rock in the draft — were sent home from the NBA’s mandatory rookie transition program on Tuesday. This four-day program is designed to school incoming rookies on topics like finances, substance abuse and sex education.
And why were Chalmers and Arthur sent home and fined $20,000 each? Why is there a chance they will begin their NBA careers with a suspension? Because, according to ESPN.com, they were caught in their hotel room with marijuana and female guests at nearly 3 a.m.
Looks like someone wasn’t taking notes in class.
The fact that they were smoking weed and entertaining women just before dawn is one thing. That doesn’t make them unique, especially in the NBA.
But these guys couldn’t set aside their nocturnal activities for four days, while taking part in a program geared toward their maturation? That speaks to a bigger problem.
Chalmers and Arthur might be subject to drug tests and, in a move that is perfect, they definitely have to return next year and embarrassingly sit among the rookies as second-year dunces.
Who knows? They might even become part of the curriculum.
BELL-MAN HANDLES YOUR BAGS
When Tatum Bell was cut by the Lions on Monday, it was an officially bad day. When he was caught on surveillance tape walking off with the luggage of Rudi Johnson — the man the Lions acquired to replace him — the term “bad day” officially earned a new definition.
So now Bell is unemployed. And as long as Johnson’s money, credit cards and underwear (Perry Ellis boxers, according to Rudi) remain M-I-A, the finger of blame will point to Bell and his telephone won’t ring (until, of course, injuries force a team to lower the bar).
If Bell was going to bring back Rudi’s bags, which he did, why would he not put back the $200 and the skivvies?
That’s why I buy part of his story.
PLAYOFFS? DID YOU SAY PLAYOFFS?
This is usually the spot where I tell you the Cardinals will finish 6-10 or 5-11, an extremely safe and accurate prediction over the last two decades.
I can’t do that this year. Not with more cohesion in the offensive line, the promise of a running game, a better group on paper in the secondary and with Kurt Warner rightfully in possession of the keys to the Big Red offense.
But with a tougher schedule and the fact that this is, after all, the Cardinals we’re talking about, all this playoff chatter is daunting. I still see Seattle as the class of the division (granted, nothing to crow about) and the Cardinals left to fight for the wild-card scraps with the rest of the less-than-stellar NFC.
I’m going to go with 8-8 for Arizona, which should keep them in the hunt for the postseason but also gives them a healthy shot at extending the playoff-less streak to 12 years.
• Dante Culpepper thinks the rest of the league is colluding to keep him out of the NFL, so he retired at the age of 31. Never mind that Culpepper is notoriously hard to deal with. Or that he flamed out in Miami and Oakland after a devastating knee injury. Or that he has an over-inflated sense of his monetary worth. Or the fact that a third of the teams in the league would die for a 6-foot-5, strong-armed signal caller. No, it’s obviously collusion.
• You’d like to think that Wednesday’s come-from-behind win over St. Louis would give the D-Backs a head of steam heading into their big three-game series the Dodgers. Then again, Arizona rallied from 5-1 down to beat the Cardinals on Monday, only to lay an egg the next night in an 8-2 loss. So instead of relying on ol’ Mo, a few gems by Dan Haren and Brandon Webb would be preferred.