DENVER (AP) — Prosecutors dropped a marijuana possession charge against Denver Nuggets star Carmelo Anthony yesterday, saying it would be tough to get a conviction after a friend claimed the drug was his, not Anthony’s.
Anthony was charged with possessing less than 1 ounce of marijuana on Oct. 15 after a bag with the drug was found in his backpack as the team waited to board a flight to Milwaukee, Wisc., for a preseason game.
Anthony said the drug belonged to a friend, James Cunningham. Cunningham signed an affidavit saying it was his.
Anthony faced a fine of $100 and no jail time for the petty offense, but the hit to his image would have been much more difficult to take.
With a charismatic smile and a superb all-around game, Anthony was an instant star in Denver after the Nuggets took him with the third overall pick in the 2003 draft. After leading Syracuse to the national championship as a freshman, he helped Denver to one of the biggest turnarounds in league history and reach the playoffs for the first time since 1995 as a rookie last season.