Grizzlies’ Calathes suspended 20 games

Memphis Grizzlies backup point guard Nick Calathes has been suspended by the league for 20 games starting with Saturday night’s Game 1 of the first-round playoff series against the Oklahoma City Thunder for violating the league’s drug policy.

The league announced late Friday night that Calathes, a 2009 draft pick of the Dallas Mavericks who slowly carved out a niche with the Grizzlies in this, his first season in the NBA, tested positive for tamoxifen. The drug is used to treat fertility in women, but is also known to be used by athletes in conjunction with steroids.

A spokesman for the Grizzlies said the organization would not comment on the suspension at this time.

The 6-foot-6 Calathes played in 71 games and averaged 4.9 ppg, 2.9 apg — third on the team behind Mike Conley and Marc Gasol — and 1.9 rpg in 16.5 mpg. He shot 45.7 percent from the floor, but 49.2 percent on 2-point shots, which accounted for the majority of his attempts.

Calathes’ absence will add more to starting point guard Conley’s load and shooting guard Courtney Lee will likely be pressed into more ball-handling. Conley averaged 33.5 mpg during the regular season. Beno Udrih, who the Grizzlies claimed off waivers from the New York Knicks in February, may also be able to help shoulder the load.

The No. 7-seed Grizzlies won 50 games after starting the season 13-17. They begin their first-round series at OKC on Saturday night (9:30 p.m. ET, ESPN). Memphis beat the Thunder without Russell Westbrook in five games in last year’s conference semifinals.

This is not the way they hoped to begin the rematch.

5 Comments

  1. smdh says:

    So how come this was not caught through out the season why at the beginning of the playoffs. Its as if no one wants to see no other team win but the spurs, okc, and the heat to win a champanionship. Memphis is a small market team that receives all kinds of hate. If the grizzlies ever win the championship game that means the nba wont receive much revenue a big market team will always win the nba title.

  2. okc2014 says:

    OKC is winning regardless. Go Thunder!

  3. Oakley34BLAM says:

    Let’s not get into hysteric exaggeration. Wade, Mourning, etc have not been ‘busted’ as they were never caught. Should we suspend players based solely on your suspicions? According to reports the substance Calathes was caught with offers no competitive advantage.

    I don’t see how this equals a “major anabolic steroids and HGH problem”, nor do I see how accepting a premise with zero proof shows one’s “common sense”. Quite the opposite.

  4. kobeballhog says:

    Whats this? Giving the okc advantage already? I wonder how the refs going to help okc win this series. I guess they gonna call tons of fouls against thr grizzlies to make sure that okc goes on to the second round. Still memphis gonna upset okc.

  5. A.J. says:

    When are they finally going to bust the Mournings, Malones and Wades of the world. Who’s anybody kidding here, are people really supposed to believe that guys like Nick Calathes, Don MacLean, Rashard Lewis, Hedo Turkoglu, et al. are the only guys taking what they’re not supposed to be taking? Get real.

    The NBA has a major anabolic steroids and HGH problem, and anybody with any common sense at all knows it.