In a move intended to send a message to players and fans that the franchise no longer will tolerate off-court missteps, Bird suspended the second-year forward for three games after police said they found marijuana and a gun in Williams' sport utility vehicle.
Williams' arrest marked the third time in 11 months that Pacers players have dealt with legal matters. "We are making it clear to our players and our fans that this franchise is going in a different direction," Bird said in a statement. "Shawne put himself in a position that placed the franchise in a poor light. He's a good kid who made a bad decision. Our franchise is in a position now where the responsibilities, conduct and standards of the players off the court weigh as heavily as they do on the court."
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