Report: Lakers’ Kentavious Caldwell-Pope being allowed to play while serving jail sentence caused unrest in franchise
During the 2017-18 season, Los Angeles Lakers shooting guard Kentavious Caldwell-Pope served a 25-day jail sentence for violating the terms of his probation stemming from a DUI charge.
Caldwell-Pope was allowed to leave the Detention Center to attend practice and games as part of a work-release program, but he wasn’t allowed to travel outside the state of California. The Lakers allowed Caldwell-Pope to play in all their home games, a decision multiple people within the organization had a problem with, according to Baxter Holmes of ESPN:
In that same season, Caldwell-Pope was allowed to practice and play with the team while serving a 25-day jail sentence for violating the terms of his probation stemming from a DUI charge — a decision that, multiple team staffers said, caused unrest in the franchise. Caldwell-Pope was allowed to leave the Seal Beach Police Department Detention Center to attend practice and Lakers games in California as part of a work-release program, but he wasn’t allowed to travel outside the state, resulting in him missing one game in Cleveland, one in Minneapolis and two in Houston. In all, Caldwell-Pope missed four games while serving his jail sentence but played in nine, starting each one.
“Anybody [else] would have put him on personal leave or suspended him,” one coaching staff member said.
“I had a major problem with that,” a Lakers front-office executive said.
Some believe the Lakers were trying to appease LeBron James and his agent, Rich Paul of Klutch Sports, who also represents Caldwell-Pope.
The Lakers wound up signing James in the summer of 2018 to a four-year deal, while also re-signing Caldwell-Pope.