Kentavious Caldwell-Pope still playing for the Lakers while serving a jail sentence

Los Angeles Lakers guard Kentavious Caldwell-Pope is serving a jail sentence, you say? But didn’t we just see him play 41 minutes in Monday’s overtime loss to the Golden State Warriors? Yes, and yes.

L.A. authorities granted Caldwell-Pope permission last week to serve his 25-day sentence, stemming from a March arrest on suspicion of driving under the influence and a subsequent probation violation, in the Seal Beach Detention Center’s work-release program, according to the Los Angeles Times.

Caldwell-Pope is reportedly allowed to participate in practices and home games, but not permitted to travel outside the state of California, which explains his absence from Wednesday night’s win over the Rockets in Houston. He is expected to play against the Warriors in Oakland on Friday. He must wear a GPS monitoring device when leaving the facility and submit to a breathalyzer test upon returning.

“This is a legal matter, stemming from an incident that occurred last season while Kentavious was a member of another NBA team,” the Lakers said in a statement on Saturday. “[We] are abiding by the terms of a program for Kentavious that were established for him by a court in the state of Michigan. As such, we will have no further comment at this time.”

Caldwell-Pope reportedly failed a field sobriety test after being stopped speeding in a 25 mph zone in suburban Detroit, and his blood alcohol level at the police station later tested right at Michigan’s legal limit (0.08), resulting in a DUI charge. He was sentenced to 12 months probation in June after pleading guilty to lesser charges of “allowing a person to drive under the influence” and “careless driving.”

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The NBA conducted its own investigation and slapped the former Detroit Pistons guard with a two-game suspension. Then a free agent, he signed an $18 million contract with the Lakers in the offseason and served the suspension during the first two games of the season for his new team.

According to the L.A. Times, court records revealed that “Caldwell-Pope missed several drug and alcohol screenings” related to his probation, resulting in another Michigan court hearing. After playing against the New York Knicks on Dec. 12, he attended the hearing, where he was given the 25-day sentence. Two days later, he petitioned for the work-release program, and it was approved that day.

The L.A. Times recently conducted an investigation into Seal Beach Detention Center, a so-called “pay-to-stay jail” that allegedly caters to mostly rich offenders in L.A. and Orange counties who are serving time for DUI-related charges. Caldwell-Pope will reportedly pay $120 a day to stay at the facility.

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