Wednesday, July 22, 2009
Updated: July 23, 10:38 AM ET
Pacers waive point guard Tinsley
INDIANAPOLIS -- Larry Bird's housecleaning project is complete.
The Indiana Pacers announced that they waived point guard Jamaal Tinsley on Wednesday, and a team spokesman said the NBA will process the request Thursday. If he clears waivers in seven days, he will become a free agent.
The move was an important one for Bird, Indiana's president of basketball operations. When the waiver becomes official, none of the players who have had legal problems or were involved in the brawl between Pacers players and Pistons fans in 2004 will remain on the roster.
"This ends a very difficult period for all parties involved," Bird said in a statement. "We are pleased to have this resolved."
Tinsley has career averages of 10.4 points and 7.0 assists, but he has been hampered by injuries and legal problems in recent years. The Pacers told him not to report to training camp last season and did not allow him to play. The NBA players' union filed a grievance for him in February, but the arbitration hearing scheduled for next week has been canceled.
Tinsley, a Pacer since 2001-02, will likely try to revive his career elsewhere.
"Jamaal is happy to be moving on," Tinsley's agent, Raymond Brothers, told The Associated Press on Wednesday night. "He's sorry it didn't work out for the Pacers. He appreciates the opportunity he had there. He's looking forward to turning over a new chapter in his life, starting over and carrying on with his career."
Tinsley was owed $14.7 million over the next two years. The team did not release details of the resolution and says it will have no further comment. Brothers said he couldn't comment on the matter because it was a confidential agreement.
Tinsley was a favorite of former Pacers coach Rick Carlisle, and he thrived under Jim O'Brien two seasons ago until he was injured.
He averaged 9.4 points and 8.1 assists as a rookie. Then helped the Pacers claim the league's best record in 2003-04, and the team was 34-9 in his regular-season starts after he came off the injured list. He averaged a career-best 15.4 points in 2004-05, but played just 40 games. He averaged 15.8 points and 8.6 assists in his first 24 games two seasons ago before a knee injury slowed him. In the past six seasons, he's only played more than 52 games once.
Tinsley was connected with three late-night conflicts in a 14-month span.
He was there when Stephen Jackson fired several shots into the air before being hit by a car at an Indianapolis strip club in October 2006.
He faced a felony charge of intimidation and misdemeanor counts of battery, disorderly conduct and intimidation after a bar fight in Indianapolis in February 2007, but agreed with prosecutors last year that if he stayed out of trouble for two years, all charges would be dropped.
In Dec. 2007, someone in a truck fired shots from an assault rifle at three cars carrying Tinsley's entourage outside a downtown Indianapolis hotel. Tinsley wasn't hurt, but Pacers equipment manager Joey Qatato was struck in both elbows as he sat in one of the cars.
Brothers said Tinsley has worked with a personal trainer since the Pacers exiled him last season and packs a solid 187 pounds on his 6-foot-3 frame.
"Jamaal is in the best shape of his life," Brothers said. "There are several teams that have tried to trade for him, and there are several teams that are interested in him."