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May 04, 2011

An ex-GM on Cunningham situation

I really didn’t know what to make of Dante Cunningham’s arrest Friday. Like many of you – see the comments in reaction to my mid-day blog – I didn’t think it was a huge thing that a 24-year-old was arrested with a small amount of marijuana in his car.

          So I asked a former NBA general manager if he’d have any misgivings about tendering Cunningham a qualifying offer approaching $1 million, following this arrest. Here’s what I heard:

          This ex-GM told me it would be downright hypocritical for any member of the Baby Boom generation to perceive anyone smoking a joint as a bad person. Then he added an illuminating “BUT’’ – that what would concern him is not the act, but the surrounding circumstances.

          He noted that Cunningham was pulled over for reckless driving and that police searched his car because of the scent of marijuana. As the ex-GM described, the real issue is Cunningham’s judgment when he’s in position to cash in as a successful second-round pick.

          This ex-GM said this could go two ways: Either this is a teachable moment about responsibility or a sign the Bobcats should walk away. He said Bobcats management should sit down with Cunningham, grasping maximum leverage, and ask him how serious he is about his career going forward.

          How Cunningham reacts to that would say a lot about whether he’s back here next season.

          Cunningham’s parents are military folk. I suspect he’s already heard some pretty stern stuff about his judgment. He’s more than good enough (and smart enough) to be on this team next season and beyond.

          It will be interesting to see how he reacts to all this adversity.

Posted by Observer Sports on May 4, 2011 at 09:56 PM | Permalink


The big question is "did he inhale".

Posted by: 4RTeam | May 4, 2011 10:29:49 PM

I'm not sure I would consider this adversity...much closer to ridiculous.

Posted by: BDub55 | May 5, 2011 3:26:33 AM

Interesting stat line on Cunningham for last nine games of Bobcats season:

14 points and 6 rebounds; 21-4, 10-3, 8-1, 16-10, 10-11, 4-5, 21-7, 12-1. He shot an even 50 percent from the field for averages of 12.8 points and 5.3 boards.

Intriguing was the 4-5 game against Boston. That's when video of his block and takeaway from Celtics' Garnett went viral. Also the game when his late goal proved to be the winning basket.

Posted by: Larry Harris | May 5, 2011 9:51:02 AM

Cunningham is a baller. This should help the Bobs to get Cunningham at a lower contract. He is going to be one of the better forwards off the bench in this league.

Posted by: DooWayne | May 5, 2011 10:42:19 AM

Cunningham is out of here. With the deepness of the forward positions in this upcoming draft he just volunteered to be traded as an expiring.

Posted by: Geraldmutumbo | May 5, 2011 1:18:53 PM

You can't trade someone who isn't under contract.

Posted by: Rick Bonnell | May 5, 2011 2:04:19 PM

We better keep him big deal he had minor traffic violation, MJ cant let him go over a joint...sign him up!!

Posted by: Your Mom | May 5, 2011 2:45:37 PM

90% of nba players smoke weed. Fact.

Do some real research and you'd find that to be true.

Posted by: charlottean | May 7, 2011 4:49:25 PM

This is much less serious than an alcohol in every respect except the fact that alcohol is legal. It is a near non-issue and I hope the Bobcat organization deals with it as such. This kid has a lot of promise.

Posted by: murrell | May 8, 2011 11:16:14 PM

Leave that kid alone, he is going to be fine and the ---Cats will resign him as they should.

Posted by: Ramblin' Jack Elliot | May 12, 2011 7:43:24 PM

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