The NBA made official today what was already expected to be a setback in Darius Miles’ return to the NBA: Should Miles be healthy enough to play, the league will suspend him for the first 10 games of the season.
The press release from the league:
“The NBA announced today that Darius Miles of the Boston Celtics has been suspended without pay for 10 games for violating the terms of the NBA/NBPA Anti-Drug Program at the end of the 2007-08 NBA season. His violation of the program involved phentermine. Miles’ suspension will begin with the first game of the 2008-09 NBA regular season for which he is eligible and physically able to play.”
The number “10” is also notable for Miles in another way. If Miles plays more than 10 games this season for the Celtics, or any other NBA team, his $9.3 million annual salary will be picked up by the Portland Trail Blazers, fulfilling the terms of the NBA’s career-ending injury policy.
An interesting twist: After his 10-game suspension, the 11th game Miles could potentially play is against Portland on Dec. 5 (game No. 21 for Celtics).