Sunday, February 28, 2010
Updated: March 1, 10:05 AM ET
Jefferson apologizes for DWI arrest
ESPN.com news services
MINNEAPOLIS -- Minnesota Timberwolves star center Al Jefferson apologized to the team and fans Sunday after his arrest on suspicion of DWI following a weekend loss to Portland.
The Timberwolves suspended Jefferson for the next two games without pay -- a punishment Jefferson said he accepts.
"I want to apologize to the entire Timberwolves organization, owner Glen Taylor, my teammates, coaches and Wolves fans everywhere for my actions last night," Jefferson said in a statement released Sunday by the Timberwolves. "I made a very poor decision and I am truly sorry for that. As a leader on this team, I know that more is expected of me, and I am disappointed in myself."
A Minnesota State Patrol trooper stopped Jefferson, 25, on Interstate 394 near downtown Minneapolis early Sunday for speeding and changing lanes without signaling, patrol spokesman Lt. Eric Roeske said.
After taking a field sobriety test, Jefferson was taken to Hennepin County Medical Center for a blood test, which he had agreed to, then to Hennepin County Jail on suspicion of fourth-degree driving while impaired, Roeske said. Jefferson was released after an hour in jail and faces an April 23 court appearance.
Results of the blood test are expected in two to three weeks, Roeske said. He said the trooper noted that Jefferson was "very cooperative." Jefferson's vehicle was towed away, Roeske said.
Jefferson led the Timberwolves with 19 points in Saturday night's 110-91 loss to the Trail Blazers at Target Center. He's averaging 17.7 points and 9.6 rebounds a game.
David Kahn, Timberwolves president of basketball operations, said Jefferson "feels terrible" about what happened.
"On behalf of the Timberwolves organization, we are disappointed that Al used poor judgment last night. Thankfully, nobody was injured or hurt," Kahn said in a statement Sunday.
"Having spoken to Al, I can assure everybody associated with our franchise that Al understands this is a matter of the utmost seriousness. He feels terrible about what occurred and I believe him when he says he will learn from his mistake," Kahn said.
But Kahn said it's appropriate that Jefferson be suspended for the Wolves' games at Dallas Wednesday and at home against Houston Saturday.
The 6-foot-10 Jefferson missed the last 2½ months of last season after injuring his right knee and undergoing surgery. Telephone calls to his agent's office were not immediately returned Sunday.