NBA: Wright apologizes for arrest, returns to Heat
By TIM REYNOLDS
AP Sports Writer
MIAMI — An emotional Dorell Wright returned to practice with the Miami Heat on Monday, four days after being arrested on a driving under the influence charge and being suspended by the team for two games.
Wright did not speak specifically of the circumstances surrounding him being charged on Miami Beach around 3:30 a.m. last Thursday with DUI and driving with a suspended license, citing pending legal matters. He did, however, say “the thing that disgusts me the most” was feeling that he let the franchise and its fans down, especially during a playoff chase.
“It was way out of character for me,” Wright said, his eyes reddening. “I definitely apologize.”
Wright is expected to be in uniform Tuesday when Miami hosts San Antonio. He has averaged nearly 20 minutes of playing time off Miami’s bench this season, and scored a career-high 26 points on Feb. 23 against Minnesota.
How much Wright plays going forward remains unknown. With Wright gone for the last two games, and three of the last five counting a game against Atlanta where he sat out with knee pain on March 6, Miami has often played point guards Carlos Arroyo and Mario Chalmers together, giving the second unit a different look.
“We’ll see,” Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said. “Some of it will depend on the rotation, in terms of playing Carlos and Mario together. That’s been fairly effective for us for the last couple games. I’m not going to slide him totally out.”
Wright watched Miami’s wins over Chicago and Philadelphia at home on television, which he said was “very tough.”
He had some contact with teammates over what amounted to four days away, getting text messages from some just to check in on his well-being.
Wright said he doesn’t know what to expect as far as playing time Tuesday.
“I’m going to come in here just like any other day, get my shots up, things like that and be ready to play the Spurs,” Wright said. “I know what I’ve got to do if I get out there.
The 6-foot-8 backup guard-forward is averaging 6.3 points in 57 games this season.
“He didn’t miss that much time,” Spoelstra said. “He’s young and he got right back into it today.”
Wright said the incident was out of character for him, insisting that he’s often found at home at night and isn’t a regular on the South Beach club scene.
“It was just one bad night,” Wright said. “Just one bad night. What I say is definitely true and I stand by that, me being a homebody and being with my son and things like that. I don’t want anybody to get that confused. That’s always first.”