Posted August 07, 2013

Shabazz Muhammad sent home from NBA’s Rookie Transition Program

Ben Golliver, Minnesota Timberwolves, Shabazz Muhammad
(Jack Arent/Getty Images)

Shabazz Muhammad averaged 8.5 points during the Las Vegas Summer League. (Jack Arent/Getty Images)

Timberwolves forward Shabazz Muhammad was sent home from the NBA’s annual Rookie Transition Program for a rules violation.

USA Today Sports reports that Muhammad, the 14th pick in the June draft, had a “female guest” in his hotel room without the prior approval of the program’s administrative staff. That violation required his expulsion from the program, which he will need to participate in again next year. Muhammad will reportedly be fined as well.

“We have been made aware of the circumstances surrounding Shabazz Muhammad’s dismissal from the NBA’s Rookie Transition Program in New Jersey,” Timberwolves president Flip Saunders said in a statement, according to the Star-Tribune. “The team fully supports the NBA’s rules and policies in all matters pertaining to this situation and we will abide by the league’s action.”

The Rookie Transition Program is designed to equip first-year players like Muhammad with the information they need to navigate the NBA lifestyle on and off the court. The program, held this week in New Jersey, traditionally features speeches from former players and other experts on subjects such as money management, ethics, social media, alcohol and drug education, and image maintenance. The program also coincides with a rookie photo shoot and an autograph session.

Muhammad, 20, posted images and video of himself posing for pictures, signing autographs and answering a questionnaire on his Twitter account this week but has not yet addressed his reported departure from the program.

The expulsion marks a rocky start to NBA life for Muhammad, whose one year at UCLA was full of off-court issues. After initially being declared ineligible for allegedly receiving improper benefits, Muhammad regained his eligibility on appeal, and an NCAA investigator was eventually fired over her handling of the case. He went on to earn All-Pac-12 first-team honors, but UCLA was quickly bounced from the NCAA tournament and a Los Angeles Times report revealed that Muhammad was exactly one year older than he had claimed. Once regarded as the No. 1 player in his high school class and a possible top-five pick, Muhammad slid to the Timberwolves, who selected him with the last pick in the lottery.

Timberwolves.com previewed the Rookie Transition Program, quoting Muhammad on what would be the key to success in the NBA following his turbulent time in college.

“Just carrying yourself the right way,” Muhammad said. “And making sure you’re nice to everybody, because you’re carrying out your brand and it will really help you out as a basketball player, and not only as a basketball player but as a person as well.”

Muhammad averaged 8.5 points and 2.2 rebounds in six games at the Las Vegas Summer League last month.

Michael Beasley, Mario Chalmers and Darrell Arthur were all fined for an incident at the 2008 Rookie Transition Program that involved female guests and “the scent of marijuana.” Chalmers and Arthur were sent home from the program.

51 comments
Longballlarry
Longballlarry

4 DAY transition program? WTF? Only thing rooks need to learn is the NBA Golden Rule of turkey basters 101 - That's liquid gold inside that rubber! NEVER leave it behind. Then have guest speaker Kayne drop knowledge. Class dismissed : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YiFxN51Rd-M.

KennethB.Jacobs
KennethB.Jacobs

Rules are rules. That's what this program is all about.  The kid is on the front end of a learning curve and can't even hook up!! Quality teams don't want him. Watch how he handles himself during the season and then check later on to see how long he lasts.

JohnCyrilNoelke
JohnCyrilNoelke

Toss up question : which pro sports athletes are dumber?

A) Football

B) Basketball

C) All of the above

RD
RD

He was trouble in college and now he's trouble in the NBA.  Who would have thought that would happen?

Gary11
Gary11

He's now the wolves problem.  But that's ok. He's the greatest player in the world and can do whatever he wants. And the coach had better structure the team's personnel and offense to maximize the points he scores. 

Dave23
Dave23

It shows the maturity of him that he can't focus on basketball for a few days, but it also shows he's ready for the NBA.

SukeMadiq
SukeMadiq

The hooker removed from the room also complained that "Shabazz only groped her with his left hand".

muser
muser

You idiots who don't think that simple rules need to be followed should get up out of bed and clean up your mom's basement...

Maximum1
Maximum1

Excuse me, how is having a girl in your room when you're out of town, not living up to the NBA lifestyle?  The kids only 9999 trysts away from one of Wilt Chamberland's fondest records. 

Kaultar
Kaultar

So the guy who seems to need to most help transitioning to the NBA to avoid it's pitfalls is sent away.  Makes total sense.

kj4027
kj4027

He's just a dumba$$ clown. He's not even that good of a player. These transition programs are a waste of time. If they haven't been taught how to act in society during their upbringing then by the time they're adults there is no hope.

Whatever
Whatever

And so it begins . . . .

WHO*IS*ESPN
WHO*IS*ESPN

But if jason collins had been in his room, then all is well, as we can't say anything about queers and have to be p.c. with the gay crowd.

SukeMadiq
SukeMadiq

Shabazz claimed that like himself, the 17 year old hooker also lied about her age!

pm2875
pm2875

"The Rookie Transition Program is designed to equip first-year players like Muhammad with the information they need to navigate the NBA lifestyle on and off the court. "


Hence the reason there's a "No Skanks Allowed" rule. They're trying to keep you from being on: "Broke 2". 


M20
M20

Sooooo shocked. If the Twolves can dump him for 50 cents on the dollar now, they'll be better off.

jakedaunt
jakedaunt

What an idiot. He will be out of the league and broke in 3 years, I guarantee it. But hey, at least it wasn't a 'male guest' in his room.

TomGrant
TomGrant

If the point of the program is to prepare them for life in the NBA, then they should provide women in each room so the rookies can learn what it's like to suddenly have millions of dollars and women chasing them (the dollars, not the players).  

Rickapolis
Rickapolis

This does sound a little like piling on (no pun intended), doesn't it. I know he had some problems in college, but a 'female guest', assuming she was there willingly, should not result in an expulsion in my book. Tell him to be more careful, sure, but he's 20, getting a fat contract, and women will be high on his list of things to do. 

NoThanksESPNFacebook
NoThanksESPNFacebook

Getting sent home for having a lady over? Who's in charge of this program....Jason Collins?

Mark121
Mark121

" the young mans on va-ka what's wrong with a booty call!

Anaximenes1
Anaximenes1

what the big deal--Shabazz a ladies man and like to party--the chicks can't get enough

TheDudeSpeaks
TheDudeSpeaks

@Maximum1 An hour before he had the chick in his room he was told not to. If my boss told me not to have a chick at my desk I wouldn't. Duh you moron.

mystafugee
mystafugee

@kj4027 Great job these fine universities are doing educating them!  

JimmyKemp23
JimmyKemp23

@WHO*IS*ESPN Sadly you are right. Like who cares that he had a woman in his room, he's a grown man, like no one is gonna tell me who I can or can't have in my room. It's all about wanting to control these guys. 

Rickapolis
Rickapolis

@WHO*IS*ESPN The Jason Collins joke was childish the first time. Now it's just pathetic. What you are saying is very immature. 

Aicyla22
Aicyla22

why the hell do you care about his sexuality? 

me1
me1

@Rickapolis They are called rules. They should apply to everyone, even if they disagree with them. It really is a simple concept.

pm2875
pm2875

@Rickapolis  He has to learn to follow rules sometime, doesn't he? I mean, if they say no girls in the room without prior notice, notify somebody. It's not that difficult to follow. 

Mike26
Mike26

@NoThanksESPNFacebook Not funny; in fact, just shows how illiterate Shabazz is for not being able to read the rules.  He'll be broke within 2 years of leaving the league.

Mike26
Mike26

@Mark121 va-ka?  You aren't very bright!  He's at work.

SukeMadiq
SukeMadiq

@Anaximenes1 

Same with Kobe Bryant, they can try to scream but Kobe says when they have had enough!

Maximum1
Maximum1

@TheDudeSpeaks  Ahh, do realize that was sarcasm don't you?  And seriously, that comment necessitated name-calling?

doghockey
doghockey

@mystafugee You still believe that these universities are in the education business?   That myth died years ago.  Most have become diploma mills and debt factories.   Educating and helping kids transition to adulthood is not much of a priority any longer.

Whatever
Whatever

@C-DOGG @pm2875 Yeah. Sure. He flew his girlfriend in from L.A. when he's not supposed to have a girl there.

Rickapolis
Rickapolis

@me1I know they are rules, but when a lady knocks on your door when you are single and 20, you let her in. I know rules are rules, no matter how foolish, but reality is also reality. Better to face it.

mystafugee
mystafugee

@doghockey @mystafugee I agree with you, just pointing out how fans and heads of the leagues act like these kids need college to help them mature.  If anything you can argue it makes them more egotistical since coaches and judges go easy on the good players and make excuses for them.  

muser
muser

@JimmyKemp23 You don't follow your mom's rules about keeping the basement clean either do you?

JimmyKemp23
JimmyKemp23

@Rickapolis @me1 Why can't he have a woman in his room? Whose business is it? I don't care if it's a rule, that doesn't make it right for them to tell a grown man who he can or can't have in his room.