Culture of Hoops

Toronto Raptors’ Jonas Valanciunas arrested for DUI

Image courtesy of Mathew Addie/Flickr.

Image courtesy of Mathew Addie/Flickr.

Baller Mind Frame’s No Layups brings you the hottest NBA stories on the web mixed with personal opinion from our very own Aaron Lanton

Raptors centre Jonas Valanciunas was arrested early Monday morning in Wasaga Beach and charged with drunk driving.

According to an OPP release, open beer bottles were spotted in Valanciunas’ vehicle as he went through a drive-thru at 2:30 a.m. Police tracked the vehicle. After investigation, Valanciunas was placed under arrest, charged with “Exceed 80 mgs.” It’s not clear who, if anyone else, was with him.

The team was in the midst of a second day off after back-to-back games Friday and Saturday. It’s also not clear why the 21-year-old Lithuanian was in the summer hangout, 130 kilometres north of Toronto, on a dreary spring day.

He is scheduled to appear in court in Collingwood on April 22 — shortly after the beginning of the Raptors’ first-round playoff series.

As news of the arrest broke early Monday evening, Raptors management was also trying to determine what their second-year player was doing so far afield. In the aftermath, the Raptors released a chiding statement.

“We were made aware this morning of the incident involving Jonas Valanciunas and are disappointed he has put himself in this situation,” according to the release. “We take this matter very seriously as we have the highest expectations for all members of this organization.” Toronto Star

This is Valanciunas’ first issue with the law so he’s getting the soft treatment from some media pundits.

Not suspending him would be inconsistent with previous handling of similar maters. Adam Silver will be asked about this and his response will set a new precedent if Valanciunas receives no punishment. Unlike some of the recent arrests from the NBA family, Valanciunas is an integral part of the Raptors’ rotation, and any missed time would be a huge deal for the team.

Hopefully he learns from this mistake and drinks more responsibly in the future. – AL

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