Samuel Dalembert Suspended for Oversleeping, Arriving Late to Practice

Ben Leibowitz@BenLeboCorrespondent IIIJanuary 6, 2014

Getty Images/Rocky Widner

Dallas Mavericks center Samuel Dalembert was held out of Sunday's 92-80 loss against the New York Knicks after being suspended for oversleeping and arriving late to a team workout session.

According to Eddie Sefko of The Dallas Morning News, the 12-year veteran out of Seton Hall said the following with regard to being late for practice:

I was late for my lifting. I just feel ashamed of it. We're taking steps to make sure that doesn't happen. And we'll move on. Just make sure I have second options. And some people helping me in those situations. It's a sleeping thing for me. We're working on it. I can't sleep at night. When that happens to me, I try to go to bed really early and situations like this happen.

Head coach Rick Carlisle said that holding Dalembert out of Sunday's game will be his only punishment and added:

We need everyone to be all in. Our margins of error are obviously thin. So we are not going to reinforce behavior that is unacceptable and that's just the way we are going to do business with him. And we need him. And I think we can correct this and I believe we will.

With the loss to the lowly Knicks, Dallas fell to 19-15 on the season. It holds the eighth seed in the Western Conference, 2.5 games ahead of the Denver Nuggets and Minnesota Timberwolves.

Dalembert has played 32 games for the Mavs this season (22 starts). He's averaging 6.3 points, 6.2 rebounds, 1.2 blocks and shooting a career-high 55.4 percent from the field.

His presence as an interior defender means a great deal to this Mavs team, as they rank 21st in the NBA by surrendering 101.5 points per game. Dallas needs a rim protector behind poor perimeter defenders like Jose Calderon and Monta Ellis. Dalembert fits that bill far better than teammate DeJuan Blair, who is averaging 0.3 blocks per game in his career.

Unfortunately, this isn't the first time the big man has been the victim of a sleep-related incident. He missed a shootaround in November after oversleeping and was held out of the first quarter of a loss to the Denver Nuggets, according to Tim MacMahon of ESPN.

Dalembert said at the time, "Just saying it frustrates me. It pisses me off. I shouldn't put myself in that situation," per MacMahon.

The Mavs need Dalembert to figure out his sleeping problem, because his presence inside brings a much-needed dynamic to the team's lackluster defense.