O.J. Mayo Comments on Dismissal from NBA, Potential Return in TMZ Interview

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured ColumnistAugust 15, 2016

FILE - In this Feb. 20, 2016, file photo, Milwaukee Bucks guard O.J. Mayo waits during a break in the in the second half of an NBA basketball game against the Atlanta Hawks in Atlanta. Mayo has been dismissed and disqualified from the NBA for violating the terms of the league's anti-drug program, the NBA said Friday, July 1, 2016. Mayo, the No. 3 overall pick in the 2008 draft out of USC, is eligible to apply for reinstatement in two years.  (AP Photo/Brett Davis, File)
Brett Davis/Associated Press

Guard O.J. Mayo was banned from the NBA earlier in the offseason for at least two years because of a violation of the NBA and NBPA's anti-drug program, but “he expects to be back on the court soon,” per TMZ Sports.

According to TMZ Sports, Mayo said he filed an appeal to fight the punishment, which doesn’t allow him to apply for reinstatement for two years. TMZ Sports’ YouTube account shared the video Monday:

Despite the report, James Herbert of CBS Sports noted there was some confusion with the situation.

"This is a bit confusing, though," he wrote. "TMZ quotes Mayo as saying the appeal process is ‘in the works,’ but in the video it sounds a lot like, ‘It didn't work.’ That's an important distinctionif it didn't work, then ‘soon’ might actually just mean ‘two years,’ which is when he can apply to be reinstated."

Herbert also pointed out Mayo said he underwent foot surgery. The Milwaukee Bucks ruled the guard out for the season in March because of a fractured ankle.

Marc J. Spears of The Undefeated passed along the official statement the league released after banning Mayo on July 1:

According to Brian Windhorst of ESPN.com, Mayo was suspended for 10 games in 2011 for performance-enhancing drugs, but Ken Berger of CBS Sports reported the recent punishment was because of a positive test for a “drug of abuse,” not PEDs.

Mayo entered the league in 2008 as the No. 3 overall pick in the draft after playing one season at USC. He has played four seasons with the Memphis Grizzlies, one with the Dallas Mavericks and three with the Bucks.

He appeared to be primed to deliver on the expectations that come with being a top-three pick when he averaged 18.5 points per game and shot 38.4 percent from three-point range on his way to a spot on the NBA’s All-Rookie First Team in 2008-09. That campaign still represents his career high in points per game, and he has topped 15 points per contest only two other times in his eight seasons (2009-10 and 2012-13).

Mayo played 41 games for the Bucks in 2015-16, posting a career-low 7.8 points per game behind career-worst shooting percentages from the field (37.1) and three-point range (32.1).

Mayo is still only 28 years old, though, and could have time remaining in his prime if he returns within the next two years.

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