But Mark Bartelstein said today he and his client plan to fight the suspension, adding that the plea to the reckless driving charge was designed entirely to get the matter adjudicated and allow Posey to seek a new team without the uncertainty of an unresolved legal situation. “I think the facts on this case are so strongly in support of James’ innocence that we feel confident in taking this up with the league,'’ Bartelstein said. “I understand the NBA has to take a position, but I think we’re going to be able to present them with some very good evidence. I think strongly that, once they get all the facts, James’ innocence in this situation will be clear. The facts stack up strongly to support James here, and I’m sure the NBA will have an open mind on this.'’
According to the police report, Posey was arrested after being approached by officers while sitting in his car talking to pedestrians and those in other vehicles. He reportedly dropped his license when handing it to the officer and allegedly had “bloodshot eyes, slurred speech and an odor of an alcoholic beverage on his breath.'’ He was also said to be unsteady on his feet. Posey was arrested and taken to Miami-Dade County jail.
Bartelstein insists the matter is not as it appears, with one source saying Posey did not drive the car.
But considering the NBA has established the suspension precedent in guilty pleas and that, under the penalty imposed by the league, Posey is currently scheduled to be fined nearly $40,000 (1/90th of his salary), it begs the question of why he agreed to any charges whatsoever from the incident.
Bartelstein countered that it was necessary for the sake of Posey’s larger picture.
“As an athlete, you get stuck between a rock and a hard place on these things,'’ he said. “James was a free agent and he just couldn’t have open issues like that.
“If he was not an NBA player, we could have fought this to the end. But we had to get it put aside so he could move on. Believe me when I tell you, if we had wanted to, we would have been more than comfortable taking this all the way through the system. But when you look at it from a business perspective, we couldn’t afford to do that. We had to get rid of it as best we could.'’
So, I guess the incident is not closed as yet. It would be nice to have Posey in uniform for the season opener, but it wouldn't be the worse thing in the world if he did have to miss one game. More as it comes available.