The NBA is taking a little break on Monday, in deference to the NCAA Men’s Basketball title match, and it appears that Toronto Raptors center Jonas Valanciunas got a little out of hand on Sunday evening in anticipation of the day off. The second-year big man was cited by Ontario police after being spotted at a drive-through operating a vehicle with open bottles of beer visible from the outside.
He was charged with impaired driving and will appear in court later this month. Valanciunas was also found to be under the influence of alcohol by the Ontario Provincial Police.
On Monday evening, the Raptors issued a statement:
We were made aware this morning of the incident involving Jonas Valanciunas and are disappointed he has put himself in this situation. We take this matter very seriously as we have the highest expectations for all members of our organization.
At this time we are continuing to gather information and we will comment further when appropriate.
Jonas also released a statement:
Valanciunas statement: "I hold myself to a high standard and take my role as a member of the Toronto Raptors very seriously..."— Eric Koreen (@ekoreen) April 7, 2014
"... I apologize to the organization, my teammates, my family and my fans, and regret any negativity this incident has brought upon them."— Eric Koreen (@ekoreen) April 7, 2014
The 21-year old has developed into a solid two-way center in his sophomore season with Toronto, working for a team that has surprised the league on its way to the third-seed in the East. Jonas, who is averaging 11 points, 8.6 rebounds and nearly a block per contest in 28.7 minutes per game, has no prior history of getting into significant trouble like this.
If Valanciunas is found guilty on his April 22 court date, the league could move to suspend him for a playoff game or two, which is the typical NBA going rate for an impaired driving charge.
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