Ontario Provincial Police officers responded to a report of a silver car going through a drive through with open beer bottles around 2:30 a.m. A search of the vehicle revealed that the driver was under the influence of alcohol, according to various reports. “I hold myself to a high standard and take my role as a member of the Toronto Raptors very seriously,” Valanciunas said in a team-released statement released Monday evening. “I apologize to the organization, my teammates, my family and my fans, and regret any negativity this incident has brought upon them.”
“I hold myself to a high standard and take my role as a member of the Toronto Raptors very seriously,” said the 21-year-old in a statement released by the team Monday evening. “I apologize to the organization, my teammates, my family and my fans, and regret any negativity this incident has brought upon them.”
According to an OPP release, open beer bottles were spotted in Valanciunas’ vehicle as he went through a drive-thru at 2:30 a.m. Police traced the vehicle to an address in town. After investigation, Valanciunas was placed under arrest there, charged with “Exceed 80 mgs.” It’s not clear who, if anyone else, was with him. Beyond the legal and safety implications, this creates turmoil in a locker room that was prepping for its first playoff appearance in six years. The hows and whys will become more clear on Tuesday morning, when Valanciunas will have to face a media onslaught after midday practice.
At about 2:30 a.m., OPP officers responded to a report of a silver car going through a drive-through with open beer bottles inside. Police say they located the vehicle near a residence on Oxbow Park Rd. After an investigation, officers determined that the driver was under the influence of alcohol while in control of the vehicle. 21-year-old Valanciunas was charged. The charge carries a $1,000 fine and one-year license suspension for first-time offenders.
Second-year centre Jonas Valanciunas has been charged with impaired driving, having been stopped in Wasaga Beach, Ont., about 2:30 a.m. ET after allegedly being spotted with open beer bottles while travelling through a drive-thru. Police say officers located the vehicle at a home, where they arrested Valanciunas alleging he was under the influence of alcohol while driving. Valanciunas is charged with having greater than 80 milligrams of alcohol in 100 millilitres of blood and is to appear in court in nearby Collingwood on April 22.
It’s too premature to speculate when Kyle Lowry (knee) and Amir Johnson (ankle) will be back, two starters who are key pieces with the post-season just around the corner, but each is making progress with no apparent setbacks. Greivis has filled in admirably for Lowry at the point, scoring and doing a solid job of protecting the basketball. Nando De Colo has been serviceable as backup, growing more comfortable as he gets more minutes. Without Lowry, though, the Raptors are susceptible on the perimeter, leading to far too many points in the paint. Johnson’s ability to show and recover on defence has been missed, while his ability to roll to the basket is second to none.
Still, with only five games left in the season, you have to like what you’re seeing out the Raps. This weekend, with two crucial pieces sitting out, they pulled out some big wins. You get the feeling that this team’s chances in the post-season will rest not on its stars, but on its depth and chemistry. For now, the Raptors are idle until Wednesday. It’s an opportune time to recharge some of the batteries, knowing full well that they’ll need everybody on board in time for the playoffs. “We need to get some rest, ” said Vazquez. “We need to get Kyle back. We need to get Amir back. We need to get back fully loaded to make a run.”
Is this core group good enough to be a perennial playoff team and legitimate contender to play for a championship? And what does general manager Masai Ujiri have to do to make sure growth is steady and that this isn’t a one-off post-season appearance that will simply tease long-suffering fans who haven’t sniffed the playoffs since 2008? “I like their pieces,” said one advance scout for an Eastern Conference rival. “But they’ve got some work to do.” Ujiri has held all season that this is nowhere near a complete roster and his search for talent upgrades is all-consuming. But it would seem that the core is young enough and affordable enough that a natural progression and adding key pieces may not be too hard to accomplish.
“If the Leafs had a good product this year, maybe it would make sense. But the fact that they’re not going to make the playoffs — why not get the city of Toronto behind a team that will?”