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Nets’ Kurucs arrested on domestic assault charge

Arraigned in Brooklyn on Tuesday, team investigating allegations

September 4, 2019 JT Torenli
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The Nets are investigating allegations against forward Rodions Kurucs after the 21-year-old Latvian was arrested and arraigned Tuesday in Brooklyn Criminal Court on domestic assault charges against a former girlfriend.

Kurucs, who was selected in the second round (40th overall) by Brooklyn in the 2018 NBA Draft, is accused of choking, pushing, slapping and biting the alleged victim at his Bond Street apartment near First Street on June 29.

The 6-foot-9, 210-pound Kurucs, who was a member of the World Team in last season’s Rising Stars Challenge during All-Star Weekend, enjoyed a solid rookie campaign, averaging 8.9 points 3.9 rebounds while logging just over 20 points per contest over 63 games. 

He was released without bail Tuesday and is due back in court on Oct. 21, according to the New York Daily News.

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The Nets, who spent most of this summer accepting plaudits for a free-agent shopping spree in which they acquired superstars Kevin Garnett and Kyrie Irving, released a statement after Kurucs was formally charged with third-degree assault and criminal obstruction of breathing, among other charges.

“After learning of the allegations against Rodions Kurucs, we notified and are assisting the League Office as they begin the process of gathering more information,” the team said. 

“The Nets organization takes allegations of this nature with extreme seriousness. While the investigation is underway and as we continue to learn more, we will refrain from commenting further.”

This is the second major blow in as many weeks for the Brooklyn franchise, which saw recently acquired small forward Wilson Chandler receive a 25-game ban for performance enhancing drug use.

Judge Gina Abadi also issued an order of protection at the arraignment hearing, instructing Kurucs to stay away from the alleged victim, who reportedly suffered bruising to her hands, face and ribs, and experienced difficulty breathing.

Kurucs denied the claims through his lawyer, Alex Spiro, who issued his own statement to ESPN.

“The former couple flew away together arm in arm in the days that followed, and only after an unfortunate breakup did these claims appear — claims that the misdemeanor hearing revealed were backed by no photographs or objective medical facts,” Spiro claimed.

Kurucs initially grabbed a knife and indicated that he wanted to kill himself during the confrontation before allegedly turning his ire toward his then-girlfriend, according to the New York Post.

The woman, whose name is being withheld at this time, reported the incident to the police on Aug. 27 and Kurucs turned himself in at the 76th Precinct early Tuesday.

His next scheduled court appearance will come just two days before the Nets open their much-anticipated 2019-20 season at Downtown’s Barclays Center against the Minnesota Timberwolves on Oct. 23.

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