New Jersey Nets forward Orlando Woolridge has told NBA officials he has a drug problem and needs treatment, the league announced yesterday. Under the terms of the NBA's antidrug program, Woolridge has been suspended from the Nets and must report promptly for treatment to the ASAP program at Van Nuys (Calif.) Community Hospital, the league said in a three-paragraph statement.
The announcement came one day after the Nets fined Woolridge $22,250 for missing the team bus and two games over the weekend.
The league said Woolridge's suspension will be in effect until he completes inpatient treatment. As long as he reports regularly for treatment, the statement said, he will receive his full salary from the Nets.
A Nets spokesman said team officials would have no comment.
Woolridge met with league officials late Monday afternoon, the statement said. Earlier in the day, a club spokesman said the Nets were satisfied with the player's story that a traffic accident prevented him from making Friday's game in Philadelphia and Saturday's home game against Seattle.
Woolridge leads the Nets with 19.7 points per game . . .
Micheal Ray Richardson, the New Jersey Nets guard who was kicked out of the NBA two years ago for cocaine abuse, will apply this week for reinstatement, the Los Angeles Times reported.
Reinstatement requires approval of the league and the NBA Players Association. League Commissioner David J. Stern said he will make a decision after the NBA conducts an investigation.