NBA player Chandler charged with drug possession

NEW YORK (AP) — New York Knicks swingman Wilson Chandler was charged Wednesday with a minor drug offense after police said they found marijuana in his car during a traffic stop.

Police stopped Chandler at a corner in Queens on Tuesday night around 11:15 p.m. for driving his Mercedes Benz with the headlights off. When officers approached the car, they smelled marijuana, police said. A passenger in the front seat, Lamonte Yarbrough, admitted to the officers he had been smoking pot, police said.

The officers recovered a plastic bag of marijuana from the console inside the car and five other small plastic bags from the trunk, weighing under 2 ounces in total, Queens District Attorney Richard Brown said.

Chandler, 23, and Yarbrough, 22, were charged with 5th degree criminal possession of marijuana, a misdemeanor. They were given desk appearance tickets and must appear in court July 1. They were not taken into police custody.

"We have spoken to Wilson regarding last night's incident and will not be commenting at this time," the team said in a statement.

It wasn't clear whether the men, both from Benton Harbor, Mich., had attorneys. There was no answer to a call to Yarbrough's address in Michigan. Chandler's grandmother and other relatives said by phone from Benton Harbor they didn't want to comment.

The 6-foot-8 Chandler averaged 15.3 points and 5.4 rebounds in 35.7 minutes per game this year, missing the final month of the season with a groin strain. He's had surgery on an ankle surgery and a sports hernia since the season ended.

The Knicks exercised their fourth-year option on the guard/forward in October. They had selected him in the first round of the 2007 draft.