Michael Qualls Arrested


It wasn’t long ago, earlier this year in fact that Arkansas Razorback fans watched Michael Qualls and Bobby Portis light up the court. Portis was the ultimate big man and Qualls was an absolute freak of athletic ability. I watched Qualls come in as a freshman and show flashes of what he was capable of. He improved more and more each year until opted for the NBA draft after his junior year.

That stint was short lived as he tore his ACL in his first league workout. The Oklahoma City Thunder signed him to an undrafted free agent deal in June. It gave him the ability to rehab with the Thunder and if things got better, start playing for the D-League team, the OKC Blue. He didn’t last long as the Thunder waived Qualls in October.

This morning Qualls was pulled over for speeding, going 83 in a 65 on I-49 in Northwest Arkansas. There was a strong smell of marijuana and he was ultimately arrested and charged with misdemeanor possession of a controlled substance, a misdemeanor possession of drug paraphernalia, and speeding. His court date is set for January 4th.

Courtesy Washington County Jail. https://www.so.washington.ar.us/res/Detainee.aspx?bn=4173088

It’s incredibly sad to see this happen to a guy like Michael Qualls. He elected to leave a year early because he was a sure bet to be a second round pick and he would be able to provide for his young son. Now it’s uncertain what will happen with Qualls after this. There’s no doubt he is still an athletic freak, but how much attention can he get from NBA teams? One thing is for sure, if the NBA is still in his future, then the road just got that much longer and harder.

Personally, I believe there are worse things in the world to get in trouble for than marijuana but that fact remains; if his dream is to be in the NBA, then you have to prepare and act like it. I’m not sure how many NBA players smoke weed but they’ve already made it. I’m not saying they should, but sometimes it’s harder to be kicked out then let in. The good new is, Qualls didn’t beat, rape, kill or threaten anyone and it wasn’t a more serious drug. Hopefully that plays into his favor going forward.

Hell, if Ryan Mallett can clean his act up enough to be given a second chance, I have faith Qualls can too. Not to mention Qualls is a much more superior athlete. I certainly hope to see Qualls playing in the League soon, because if he disappears after this it will be one of Arkansas’ greatest disappointments at the professional level.