NBA

Richaun Holmes Got Arrested Right Before the Best NBA Season of His Career

Richaun Holmes proved himself to be a star center for the Sacramento Kings during the chaotic 2019-20 season. During his fifth season in the league, the once-backup big man finally had the chance to prove his prowess on the court. However, Holmes also showed his inability to follow the rules with his arrest. Will he always have to learn the hard way?

Richaun Holmes 2019 arrest

Right before the beginning of his standout 2019-20 season with the Kings, Holmes was arrested. While still with the Phoenix Suns in May 2019, details NBC Sports, he was booked into a Miami jail on a misdemeanor marijuana charge. While marijuana is legal in some U.S. states, it is not in Florida, where Holmes was arrested. The NBA takes marijuana violations seriously. Had Holmes been convicted, it could have been the end of his NBA career. 

Luckily for Holmes, his May 2019 arrest did not negatively impact his career in the NBA. While he left the Suns after the 2018-19 season, he was able to sign with the Kings in July 2019 on a two-year contract, worth $10 million.

While a brush with the law and threat to their NBA contract would push most players into making better decisions, this doesn’t seem to be the case for Holmes. During the NBA bubble, Holmes once again demonstrated poor judgment by violating protocol for a ridiculous reason. 

Chicken wings prove more important than basketball

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After three years in Philadelphia and one year in Phoenix, Holmes was yet to prove himself on the basketball court. However, everything finally started to come together for Holmes after signing for the Kings in July 2019. Holmes finally got the opportunity to become a regular starter. He averaged 12.3 points, 8.1 rebounds, and 1 assist per game during the 2019-20 season.

While Holmes was able to find a steady rhythm, the season proved to be far from stable in itself. With COVID-19 taking over the world, NBA players had to self-isolate in order to finish the 2019-20 season. While the majority of the players took this precaution seriously, Holmes was not one of them.

In July 2020, Holmes decided to order takeout and left the confines of the bubble to pick up his chicken wings from the delivery service. The decision to break the NBA bubble protocol led to Holmes having to go into self-quarantine for 10 days. At least for a moment, chicken wings proved to be more important to Holmes than basketball.  

What’s next for Richaun Holmes? 

Richaun Holmes of the Sacramento Kings looks on during a game
Richaun Holmes of the Sacramento Kings looks on during a game | Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images

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Ultimately, Holmes finished the season after testing negative for COVID-19 10 days after his self-quarantine. Even after Holmes was able to rejoin the team, the Sacramento Kings didn’t make it to the playoffs. They played their last 2019-20 season game on August 13. While he has another year left on his contract, the Kings have some big decisions to make during the off-season. 

Holmes has outperformed all expectations since signing with the Kings in July 2019 on a two-year, $10 million deal. Analysts estimate that Holmes will be worth closer to $12 million next season based on his 2019-20 performance, reports SB Nation. The Kings only owe him $5 million next season, under half of what he’s worth. The Kings are also crowded with frontcourt talent, so Holmes may be on a new team in the near future. That is if he can keep himself out of trouble in the meantime.