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Latest Michael Beasley situation teaches us more about the lockout

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As the NBA Lockout continues, there have been a couple little things that have popped up over the past week that I thought were interesting.  This is all uncharted land for me because I was just a teen during the last work stoppage, so I'm just soaking up as much info as possible while all this continues to happen.  We already discussed how several players are exploring options to play elsewhere if there is no basketball next season, but now I'm thinking about what some are doing at home with all this free time.

The reason I'm thinking about this is because of former Heat draftee Michael Beasley, who Miami took with the 2nd overall pick in the 2008 Draft.  A few days ago it was revealed that Beasley was busted in Minnesota for possession of marijuana sometime in the past few weeks.  Minnesota newspaper The Star-Tribune was one of the first to report on the story, and also that while Beasley was driving, it wasn't under the influence.

From The Star-Tribune:

Timberwolves forward Michael Beasley was cited for marijuana possession after being pulled over for speeding in Minnetonka, police said Wednesday.

The traffic stop occurred about 3 a.m. on June 26 on Hwy. 12 near Carlson Parkway, said Capt. Scott Boerboom. Beasley was driving 84 miles per hour in a 65 mph zone, Boerboom said.

Officers who stopped Beasley, 22, smelled marijuana in the car and found slightly more than a half-ounce in the vehicle, Boerboom said.

This isn't the first time that Beasley has run into trouble related to marijuana.  First there was the incident at the NBA Rookie Transition Program where he was fined $50k and there were reports of a strong smell of marijuana coming from the room where he and two other rookies, including teammate Mario Chalmers, were hanging out with guests.

Then there was the Twitter issue, which I'm sure many of us remember.  Beasley used to be a fairly active member of the Twitter community until one night in August of 2009.  He tweeted out a picture of himself that night, showing off a tattoo on his back.  Soon after the picture went out, people started to notice in the bottom corner of the pic you could see what looked like a bag of weed.  That didn't go over too well with the Heat, as you can imagine. 

This latest incident up in Minnesota happened before the lockout came into effect on July 1st, and it raises the questions of whether or not there will be any action taken by the league to fine or suspend Beasley once basketball operations resume.  It also makes me wonder what happens to guys who may be caught doing the same or similar things during the lockout.  Can the league even take any action against those players if they wanted to?

Nope.  With no collective bargaining agreement in place between the players and the league, that means that there is no policy or set of rules for substance abuse.  As of now, and until the lockout is over with a new CBA in place, players will not be tested by the NBA.  They could still potentially run into legal trouble, like with Mr. Beasley, but in a league that has long had the reputation of many of its players using marijuana, I'm sure that there are several players who are taking advantage of their current situation.

Now the other lockout-related issue that I came across is something much less significant, but something I found interesting nonetheless.  All NBA fans that have already committed money for season tickets in the upcoming 2011-12 season do not have to worry about losing a penny of their initial investment.  Those fans will have the option of getting their money back, with interest, if they choose to take that route of action.

Even though we are still in the lockout, teams will continue to take money from fans that are purchasing tickets.  This wont stop until actual games are cancelled, at which time the teams will stop taking payments and wont resume until games are played again.  Here is the message from NBA senior vice president of marketing and communications, Mike Bass:

"Season ticket-holders' investments with teams are completely protected.  The league-wide policy is that in the unfortunate event of missed games, all season ticket-holders have the option to receive a refund plus interest on a monthly basis for all missed games."

So while fans wont be able to get all their money back at once, they will get it back over time, and with interest.  This is a smart move by the NBA, because the last thing they want to do is have fans thinking that the league is desperate for money.   Overall, the more time goes with this lockout in place, the more we're going to hear about these kind of stories that make you roll your eyes thinking that this is all because the players and owners cant come to an agreement.  As I've said before, regardless of which side is at fault, it's always the fans that suffer the most.