By A. Suave Francisco
This may be the last straw for Thunder General Manager Sam Presti. In addition to Mitch McGary's five-game suspension, the NBA decided to tack on 10 more games to it simply because the Thunder forward didn't comply with the league's anti-drug policy. Now, McGary's tenure with Oklahoma City may be coming to an end.
According to NBA insider, Adrian Wojnarowski, McGary failed to follow all the procedural guidelines of his initial suspension. That more than likely means that he declined a request to take another drug test or didn't show up to one.
These are the types of things that don't deserve any sympathy or gray area. Although marijuana probably shouldn't be an issue anymore, considering it's legalization growing more and more each day throughout the country, it is.
McGary's behavior resembles one of an adolescent. At 24 years old, he should clearly be passed that stage of his life, but he isn't and that's the problem.
Common sense also plays a huge role in this. McGary is an NBA player, making a ton of money and he will continue to make a ton of money if he can simply follow a set of rules. Point blank.
Yes, the NBA may want to go back over their rulebook and tweak the anti-drug policy a little bit, because it has been proven that the health effects from marijuana are slim and are actually less than alcohol.
For goodness sake, two of the best Olympians of this generation and possibly of all-time time admitted to smoking marijuana regularly for stress.
Former athletes have admitted using it as a healthier alternative for pain, instead of addictive prescription medication like hydrocodone, oxycontin, and so on.
You would think an organization like the NBA would look for the healthiest alternative in these situations. However, even if the league allowed players to use marijuana for just medical purposes, it's still not legal in some states, including Oklahoma.
Maybe the NBA is trying to make it easier for everybody and keep it listed as a banned substance until other states fall in line with the modern day. Who knows? But it appears like McGary's love for marijuana trumps his love for basketball, which is perfectly fine, but he has definitely disappointed many who admire him.
Spending time in the Thunder locker room over the past two years, I've seen how he interacts with the players on that team. His statistics aren't great by any means, but he is a guy that head coach Billy Donovan and company would love to have around.
He's been labeled as a 'hype man' for both the team and the fans. People may not respect his game because they haven't seen him in action much, but they respect the energy and positivity he brings to the Thunder.
In McGary's two years playing with the Thunder, he's averaged 1.3 points, 0.9 rebounds, and 0.3 assists per game, with very limited minutes, partially due to multiple minor injuries.
He's shown promise, especially this summer where he absolutely dominated the NBA Summer League in Orlando, Florida. But the truth is, Sam Presti has been trying to find a team that will take him for some value prior to his first suspension, but was unsuccessful.
The likelihood of that happening now definitely decreases. McGary is also one of my favorite players on the team, simply because of his genuine personality. This is very sad to see happen to him as a fan.
McGary has had multiple opportunities to shine. Let's not forget, this is the organization that gave him a second chance out of college where he was also in trouble who actually kicked him out of the NCAA due to marijuana.
McGary's talent after a few years in college got him to the NBA, but he's learning, in harsh fashion, that talent and money can't get you everywhere.
Not only are his days more than likely over here in Oklahoma City, but with no other team interested in him, his days in the NBA may very well be over also.