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Sources: Michael Beasley's Treatment Began Some Time Ago

The story broke on Monday that Michael Beasley has checked into a drug rehabilitation program in Houston.
Left unclear was when he entered rehab. Sources now say that Beasley had been in outpatient drug rehabilitation treatment, as part of the NBA's drug program, for a week or more prior to the latest news.

What happened in recent days -- and what triggered Monday's report -- was not Beasley's admission to the program, sources say, but a change in his status from outpatient to inpatient as a result of Beasley's breaking one of the program's rules.

This changes the story in various ways, for instance by diminishing the possibility that Beasley came forward seeking help, and by clarifying that the treatment is to address the mandates of the collective bargaining agreement, rather than the concerns of Beasley or others.

It also means that much-discussed recent activity on Beasley's Twitter account (including a photo of Beasley with, many suspect, a bag of marijuana in the background, as well as some depressed-sounding tweets) came while Beasley had already been in the treatment program for some time.

Beasley was initially required to spend a period in outpatient treatment this summer. He had completed at least a week of that before the undisclosed infraction. As a result of his rule-breaking, it was decided that time spent in outpatient rehab would not count towards his obligation, and a new 30-day period of inpatient care commenced.

Beasley, sources say, was in the NBA's marijuana program. The collective bargaining agreement mandates such for any player who has tested positive for marijuana.

It's unclear if Beasley has any recourse other than to follow the rules of the program if he wants to continue playing in the NBA. The NBA's marijuana program has harsh penalties. The collective bargaining agreement says, for instance, that players can be fined $5,000 for every day they fail to comply (up to their entire salary). If they fail a drug test or demonstrate "a pattern of behavior that demonstrates a mindful disregard for his treatment responsibilities" they can be fined an additional $25,000.

In 2003, Shawn Kemp, then a member of the Orlando Magic, was found not to have followed the rules of the anti-drug program, and was suspended without pay until he complied.

An ironic twist of Beasley's de facto incarceration for drug treatment is that sources near him echo what his father said on the radio -- that he has been drug-free recently.