More discipline after forward a no-show twice
HOUSTON -- Houston Rockets coach Jeff Van Gundy suspended forward Eddie Griffin indefinitely after Griffin failed to show up for practice prior to Thursday night's preseason game against the Sacramento Kings.
The suspension comes a day after Van Gundy met with Griffin to discuss another no-show. The third-year player missed the team's flight to Sacramento on Monday night.
"I met with him [Wednesday] night and I told him he was suspended two additional games," Van Gundy said. "We talked through it and we had a good talk and he understood where I was coming from."
Van Gundy thought Griffin would rejoin the team for Thursday's drill.
"He didn't show up again today, so we suspended him for conduct detrimental to the team," Van Gundy said. "Hopefully, he'll get himself together and get back and rejoin us soon.
"He's an integral part of what we're trying to do and yet what's going on is totally unacceptable."
Griffin told the Houston Chronicle on Wednesday that he missed the trip because of personal reasons. Griffin skipped a home game last season too and gave the same reason when he returned.
Griffin also has an unresolved marijuana possession charge against him stemming from an arrest in April.
"We see this as a very short-term, hopefully, blip in the radar and [want to] get Eddie back as soon as he's able to conform to what we need him to do, which means showing up to work every day, on time and ready to play and play well," Van Gundy said.
Van Gundy said he knows the source of Griffin's problem but would not discuss it. He said Griffin would remain away from the team until the issue was resolved.
"When I talked [Wednesday] it was our intention that he would practice with us and be at games, do extra, " Van Gundy said. "But I think today what's happened, we're going to let him be away from the team until he can get himself together and is able to do everything that a professional basketball player is supposed to do, which means showing up for work on time."
Griffin was the seventh overall pick of the New Jersey Nets in 2001 and was traded to the Rockets for three first-round draft choices. He has averaged 8.7 points and 5.8 rebounds per game in two seasons with the Rockets.
Copyright 2003 by The Associated Press