Pelicans sign Dante Cunningham, whose domestic-assault charges were dropped
But all the charges were dropped. According to the Associated Press, this was more clear than insufficient proof to meet the high standard of “beyond a reason doubt.” Police determined his accuser fabricated evidence.
Now, Cunningham, as rumored, will continue his career in New Orleans.Pelicans release:
The New Orleans Pelicans announced today that the team has signed free agent forward Dante Cunningham. Per team policy, terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Cunningham, 6-8, 230, was the 33rd overall pick out of Villanova in the 2009 NBA Draft by the Portland Trail Blazers. A five-year veteran, Cunningham has appeared in 366 career NBA games (41 starts) with Portland, Charlotte, Memphis and Minnesota, holding career averages of 6.2 points and 3.9 rebounds.
Cunningham will be available for the Pelicans’ game tonight at Golden State. He will wear #44.
Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports:
After New Orleans signing of Dante Cunningham, NBA spokesman tells Yahoo disciplinary action unlikely based on dropped assault charges.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) December 4, 2014
NBA's reviewing but spokesman says, "At this point we have no basis to conclude (Cunningham) engaged in conduct that warrants discipline."— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) December 4, 2014
There’s a case the NBA overstepped by suspending Jeff Taylor 24 games, but he pleaded guilty to domestic violence. The Ray Rice and Adrian Peterson incidents are bringing new attention to these situations, and the NBA is mindful of presenting itself as intolerant of domestic violence.
But Cunningham’s charges were dropped. The league should tread much more lightly here, and it apparently is.
Adam Silver has latitude to punish arbitrarily. For PR purposes, this could have been a chance to use those powers, but it’s good to see he’s not.
A cleared Cunningham deserves a chance to rebuild his career on the court.