SEATTLE -- NBA players will not be allowed to take their drug tests during games, the league said Wednesday, after a Seattle player missed part of the third quarter Tuesday night while taking his.
NBA spokesman Tim Frank would not talk specifically about
Seattle's Reggie Evans, who teammates said missed the first few
minutes of the second half against the New York Knicks while being
But the league is changing when tests are allowed, Frank said.
"Our policy, however, does not require a player to take a drug
test at any point during a game, and we will ensure going forward
that no testing is conducted during this time," he said.
A phone message left for the players' association was not
After Tuesday night's game, Seattle's Ray Allen said that Evans
was not on the bench for the opening moments of the second half
because he was taking his league mandated drug test, required under
the new collective bargaining agreement.
Evans, who started at power forward, returned to the bench with
about 10 minutes remaining in the third quarter, but did not
re-enter the game until there was 1:48 left in the quarter. During
that stretch, Seattle's lead shrunk from 13 to six.
Following Wednesday's practice, Evans said he got caught up in
his normal pregame routine and did not take the test before the
game because he forgot. Evans said he used the restroom before the
game and then remembered about the test.
"If you do your normal routine, you tend just to focus on
that," Evans said. "You're not really thinking about [the
He decided to take the test at halftime at his own choice. Evans
said he would have made it back in time, but "the dude moved too
Allen, one of Seattle's player representatives, said Wednesday
the new testing takes about 15 to 20 minutes to complete, longer
than previous tests. This is the first year the league is using an
independent organization to conduct the screenings.
Allen was upset that Evans' absence interfered with Seattle's
chemistry. Seattle led 50-41 at halftime, but ended up losing
104-101 to the Knicks. Allen also raised the issue of being tested
on game day, instead of the day before or day after games.
"It's one of those situations that fell through the cracks a
little bit, and I think it was unfortunate for us, but I won't use
it as an excuse as to why we lost," he said.
Seattle coach Bob Weiss said all he was told was that Evans was
in the bathroom and didn't know if he was sick or if he would
return. Weiss put Robert Swift in the lineup to start the second
"I don't know if people did know that he wasn't out there
warming up," Weiss said.
Weiss said because of the confidentiality of the drug testing,
he could not comment. General manager Rick Sund said he spoke with
the league, but would not comment other than saying that drug
testing is a very good part of the new collective bargaining
Evans also reiterated that his test would come back negative.
"I've been clean since I've been in the league, I've been clean
since I've been in college, I've been clean since I've been in high
school, middle school, elementary school," Evans said. "I'm just
cleaner than clean. I'm cleaner than Pine-Sol."