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NBA notebook: Cunningham rejoins Timberwolves after arrest

Associated Press

Minnesota Timberwolves forward Dante Cunningham rejoined the team on Saturday, two days after he was arrested and later charged with felony domestic assault for allegedly choking his girlfriend during an argument.

Cunningham was released from jail on Friday and took a flight on Saturday morning to Orlando, Fla., for the Timberwolves’ game against the Magic. He scored 12 points and had six rebounds in the loss.

Cunningham cannot be disciplined by the league and the Timberwolves for the same transgression, under terms of the collective bargaining agreement. The league was expected to wait until it had all the details before deciding on imposing any punishment.

The Wolves said on Thursday shortly after his arrest that they were still gathering information and take the matter “very seriously.”

The Timberwolves cannot deactivate Cunningham because that could be viewed as a form of discipline and could cause the NBA Players’ Association to file a grievance.

A criminal complaint filed in Hennepin County District Court said his girlfriend told police they got into the argument early Thursday at his suburban Minneapolis home. The woman, who is not named in the complaint, told police he kicked down a locked bedroom door, grabbed her around the neck and slammed her against the wall, choking her for 15 to 20 seconds during which she could not breathe.

Cunningham, 26, was charged with one felony count of domestic assault by strangulation.

ASSISTANT FIRED — For the second time in two weeks, the Golden State Warriors parted ways with an assistant coach.

The Warriors fired assistant Darren Erman for “a violation of company policy,” General Manager Bob Myers said. He said that “this is the type of decision that would be made across the board and irrespective of position within the organization.”

“Obviously, the timing is unfortunate, but we hold all of our employees, whether in basketball operations or other aspects of the business, accountable for their actions and to the same standard,” Myers said. “We move forward and thank Darren for his contributions.”’

Erman is the second member of coach Mark Jackson’s staff to be removed in the past two weeks. Jackson reassigned assistant Brian Scalabrine to the team’s NBA Development League affiliate in Santa Cruz on March 25 because of what Jackson called a “difference in philosophies.”

Erman was in his third season with the Warriors after spending four years with the Boston Celtics, where he worked under Doc Rivers.

GARNETT RETURNS — Brooklyn center Kevin Garnett returned to the starting lineup after missing 19 games because of back spasms.

Nets coach Jason Kidd said Garnett would “give it a shot” Saturday night against the Philadelphia 76ers.

Garnett is averaging 6.7 points, 6.7 rebounds and 21 minutes in 49 games this season.


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