I leave town for a couple of days, no online access, no problem, right? It's mid-July, drafts over, all the new guys are in town, what could possibly happen? Sure, Tinsley could be moved, but probably not over a weekend, right?
Of course, no one told me Shawne Williams had friends in from Memphis. I did have Brent on alert that I was gone in case something were to happen and he came through big time, linking up Shawne's latest traffic stop. Brent captured the initial emotion of the report perfectly, "Truly disheartening and sad to say the least." If only Shawne were as reliable as Brent.
Once again, Shawne has me shaking my head. How come every traffic stop involving Shawne ends up with a mug shot? He's been pulled over for failing to signal a turn correctly and driving with tinted windows. Those minor offenses escalate to a "friend" taking a trip with police for a marijuana possession.
This latest incident has all the indications of a "driving while black" stop, but that still doesn't excuse Shawne's judgment. If you're going to drive through Carmel with tinted windows, you better be clean as a whistle. Shawne doesn't have the luxury of excuses, no matter how valid.
I don't have the energy to scream for Shawne to be dumped immediately, mainly because he, again, wasn't charged with anything and is only guilty of harming the improved image the Pacers have been working extremely hard to clean up.
That's what stinks most about this episode is that it flushes away some of the good will the Pacers organization has built up with the community over the past couple of months. Fortunately, the great work they've done locally will help deflect the impact of this news directly on Shawne.
But nationally, the story is different. As reports of the incident make the AP wire and are reported on ESPN, Yahoo! Sports, SI.com, etc., the national perception remains the same. Any signs of positive change have been washed away.
So, now what happens?
I wouldn't mind Shawne joining Tinsley and the trip out of town. Too much history, too much drama, just time to move on. I also don't think Shawne has any idea what it takes to be a champion. Yes, he's young but that doesn't mean he has to act like it. Show me some signs of maturity, some commitment to being great. Back up your words with action. Better yet, stop talking and start doing.
This is a huge make or break year for Shawne as it is, so if he can't be dealt, I'm fine with leaving him on the roster. He's not a bad locker room guy and at worst, becomes a wasted talent on the bench that will be gone at the end of the year. It might do him good to see a couple of rookies come in who are his age but appear much more mature at this point. As I've mentioned before, the youth excuse is gone, Shawne. What you gonna do?