|Pacers forward Williams, guard Daniels drawing unwanted attention|
|Written by Admin|
|Thursday, 28 February 2008 14:54|
While police say forward Shawne Williams and guard Marquis Daniels were not involved in either case, both have been in recent legal trouble and the incidents frustrate a team trying to improve its tarnished image.
``We've got to be very clear about this - we don't want our players hanging around murderers,'' team president Larry Bird said. ``That's not a good sign for our young fans. It's not a good sign for management.''
Williams, who is averaging 7.0 points and 2.9 rebounds, left the team's game Wednesday night after learning a man had been arrested on a Tennessee murder warrant soon after leaving his Indianapolis home. Williams did not practice with the team on Thursday and will not travel with the Pacers to their game at Toronto on Friday.
Officers arrested 20-year-old Gary Bohanon of Memphis, Tenn., for a fatal shooting last October at a Memphis auto repair shop. He was spotted at Williams' home Wednesday evening and arrested after he left as a passenger in a truck registered to Williams, federal marshals said.
Williams was arrested with Bohanon in September after a traffic stop when an officer found marijuana in the SUV that Williams was driving. The 22-year-old Williams pleaded guilty to driving without a license, while a drug charge was filed against his passenger.
Happy Walters, Williams' agent, said Thursday that his client was unaware Bohanon had been at his home.
``He's going to take the next day or two and get it all straightened out and get back with the team when they get back from Toronto,'' Walters said.
Bohanon was being held without bond in Indianapolis pending extradition to Memphis. Authorities did not know whether he had an attorney.
The arrest of Bohanon came just days after a woman told police that she had been raped early Sunday during a small gathering at Daniels' suburban Carmel home.
Daniels is not a suspect in the rape, but a man who was there could face charges pending the results of evidence tests in the coming weeks, said Vicky Dunbar, a spokeswoman for the Hamilton County sheriff's department.
Bird said that even though Williams and Daniels were apparently not involved in criminal acts, the team was still taking heat for the actions of people they were associating with.
``These guys are supposed to be men,'' Bird said. ``They are in a professional league, a man's league, and they've got to step up and be a man. Whether it's your brother hanging around getting in trouble, your uncle, your cousin, whoever it is, you've got to eliminate them people and get them out of your life if you want to play in this league.''
Police continue to investigate a Dec. 9 incident when Pacers guard Jamaal Tinsley and several companions were targeted in a shooting that wounded the team's equipment manager outside a downtown hotel. Police said the shooting involved an assault rifle and followed an incident when Tinsley and his companions were leaving a nightclub.
Tinsley and Daniels also face pending charges stemming from a February 2007 fight at an Indianapolis nightclub. Tinsley faces the most serious charge, a felony count of intimidation.
Pacers CEO Donnie Walsh said the past week's events were ``disheartening'' because the team has had counselors and law enforcement officials speak with players about their conduct.
``It paints the whole team in an incorrect light when we have a lot of guys on this team who are doing the right thing,'' Walsh said. ``We've spent a lot of time talking to our players about the fact that they can't have the wrong associations for exactly what happened here.''