Before Tuesday, the biggest headline Nerlens Noel earned this season was a friendly incident where he grabbed a hot dog during a Dallas Mavericks game. Now Noel’s difficult season includes a suspension.
Noel and Utah’s Thabo Sefolosha were both suspended for violating the NBA’s drug policy on Tuesday. Yahoo’s Shams Charania first reported the pair of suspensions on Tuesday afternoon.
Both players have dealt with injuries this season and the report wasn’t specific about the kind of violation the two had, but the league cracked down on both players on Tuesday.
It’s certainly been a strange season for Noel, who couldn’t get himself into the Mavs lineup when healthy and also missed time after having thumb surgery in December. He’s played in 30 games this season, starting just six, and averaged 4.4 points and 5.6 rebounds per game.
Sefolosha, meanwhile, had season-ending knee surgery to repair and MCL injury in January, part of an extremely unlucky run for the Jazz. The report isn’t clear what specific drugs the two players were taking and whether they were recreational or performance-enhancing, but it’s easy to speculate that two players who have had injuries this season were doing something to try getting back to full health quicker than usual.
With Sefolosha out the rest of the season, it would seem his suspension would begin when he’s back on the roster for the Jazz. Noel, meanwhile, sees his already odd season cut even shorter.