Forward caught 'consorting with disreputable people'

Updated: July 7, 2005, 9:46 PM ET
Associated Press

HOUSTON -- Free-agent forward Eddie Griffin was in jail Thursday for violating his probation, a court official said.

Eddie Griffin
Minnesota Timberwolves
70 7.5 6.5 0.8 .387 .718

Griffin, on probation after pleading guilty in a 2003 assault case, was listed as a witness in a disturbance at a club in Houston on Wednesday, state district court coordinator Virginia Cerda said. It was a violation of his probation because he was "consorting with disreputable people" at a compromising time of day, Cerda said.

Griffin's attorney, Rusty Hardin, said Griffin went to a nightclub to pick up a friend and an altercation broke out. Griffin was not involved in the altercation and was not drinking at the time, according to Harbin and a police report that listed Griffin as a witness.

"Eddie has made a lot of mistakes and Eddie has had a lot of problems in his life, but this is not something he created at all," Hardin said.

Hardin said that Griffin was being harassed by two men who were arrested at the scene.

"He's a great kid, totally still under control, and is going to make somebody a great ball player," Hardin said.

Griffin chose a 15-day sentence for the violation rather than going to a hearing that could have resulted in a harsher punishment. He was jailed Wednesday and will get out July 20, a spokeswoman at the Harris County Jail said Thursday.

The seventh pick in the 2001 draft, Griffin played last year with the Minnesota Timberwolves. He was released by the Rockets in 2003 and later signed with the New Jersey Nets.

"From all the facts that we've ascertained in this case, we're satisfied that this was simply an unfortunate incident," Timberwolves general manager Jim Stack said in a statement. "Eddie's only involvement was that he was an eyewitness to an altercation. He was not involved in the altercation.

"Eddie was in the wrong place at the wrong time. Unfortunately, his proximity to a night club violated his probation and we understand the repercussions involved."

Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press