The Portland Trail Blazers released a formal statement today about guard Sebastian Telfair's Saturday night whoops!-I'm-carrying-a-handgun incident when he attempted to board the team plane with it en route from Boston to Toronto. He will face a fine from the NBA, the release said. After an "extensive" investigation it was revealed that Telfair did in fact accidentally grab his girlfriend's handbag which just happened to have a handgun inside it. When Telfair noticed the mistake, he stuffed the handgun inside a "handmade pillow" he had on board, which was subsequently discovered by the plane's staff during initial prepping. According to the press release, Massachusetts authorities bought his excuse and did not charge Telfair with any crimes. His girlfriend does have a license to carry. There is no explanation about the handmade pillow, however.
Are the Portland Trail Blazers PR department the highest paid in the league? They have to be, right?
Trail Blazers Telfair Disciplined After Gun Found on Plane [Reuters]
Telfair's a Terrorist [Manute's Webb]
Read the full report after the jump.
STATEMENT FROM TRAIL BLAZERS REGARDING
PORTLAND, Ore. - This past Saturday, Feb. 11, while prepping the cabin area of the team plane for a flight from Boston to Toronto, a flight attendant discovered a handgun inside of Sebastian Telfair's handmade pillow. Local authorities were notified immediately.
After questioning Sebastian and conducting a preliminary investigation, authorities accepted Sebastian's explanation that he had inadvertently grabbed his girlfriend's bag by mistake when he left for the team's current road trip. The bag contained his girlfriend's handgun that she purchased from a licensed gun retailer in Oregon for her personal protection. When Sebastian made the discovery while in flight, he placed the gun inside his own pillow and chose to leave it on the plane for the rest of the trip.
We have been told by the Massachusetts authorities that they conducted an extensive investigation and checked the key aspects of Sebastian's story, closing the investigation late last night apparently satisfied there was no illegal activity.
Sebastian will be disciplined for violating league and team policy related to its ban on all firearms on team transportation. The NBA has indicated this matter is now under review by the league office.
"While we had to allow the legal process to run its course, and we're grateful it appears that the authorities have determined Sebastian initially made an innocent mistake, he clearly compounded the situation by making the wrong choice by not notifying the team's traveling security agent about his situation immediately," said Trail Blazers President Steve Patterson. "He has apologized profusely, but he knows he must be held accountable for his actions. He will pay the price for his error in judgment for violating both team and league policy. The organization has also earned a lesson from this issue and is taking steps to tighten security for all carry-on items on our team plane."