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Laettner Suspended For Failing Test

As you've probably heard by now, Christian
Laettner has been suspended by the NBA for failing a banned substance test
While it's not clear what the substance in question is, we're assuming from the
language that it's marijuana. All emphases are DBR's:

Laettner says: "I deeply regret any embarrassment that my actions
have caused to members of my family, my teammates, my fans and the Washington
Wizards organization. I accept full responsibility for my actions. I have elected
to seek professional assistance to fully educate myself as to
the consequences of my behavior to assure that these issues never interfere
again with my career and my obligations to my team, my teammates and our

Ernie Grunfeld, the Wizards President of Basketball Operations, says:

"We're extremely disappointed that this happened. This comes as a
surprise to us, as the league's substance abuse policy is confidential. I have
spoken to Christian and he is embarrassed for his family, his teammates,
the Wizards organization and the fans."

So based on that language, no one seems to be treating it as an illness,
which makes us think that it was not a particularly dangerous substance.

Not that that means he gets a pass. Duke fans adore Laettner - he was
the epitome of toughness and clutch play at Duke. Generally speaking, he
was given a pass on foolish behavior. We don't mean that he took advantage of
his status in the way many athletes do, but he was often contentious and
difficult to deal with. We've heard students who were at Duke at the same time
who simultaneously revered his basketball ability and deplored his social
behavior. Some of his teammates said the same thing.

For Laettner, his Duke fans will likely always indulge him because of his
remarkable career, culminating in The Shot. But the broader world,
particularly fans of schools like Kentucky and UNC, will take the opportunity to
rub it in. Don't get us wrong, we're not worried that he can't take it. He
can, he has to, and furthermore, he should. We do feel bad for his daughter, who
will have to hear this for a while.

Whatever happened, Laettner seems contrite. Here's hoping he can move
on from here and not revisit this unfortunate episode again.