By Chelsea Phua
Sacramento Kings player Antoine Wright (left) was arrested in Rocklin early today on suspicion of driving under the influence, police and his team said.
"I'm sorry for having gotten myself into this situation," the 26-year-old forward said in a statement. "I sincerely apologize to my teammates and coaches, the Sacramento Kings Organization, the Sacramento community and my fans and my family."
Rocklin police acting Sgt. Rich Cabana said that about 1:30 a.m., his department received a transfer call from the California Highway Patrol that a resident was following a possible drunken driver on westbound Interstate 80 near Rocklin Road.
The resident followed the suspected drunken driver off the exit to a Tesoro gas and food market on Rocklin Road, where the driver stopped in front of a gas pump, Cabana said.
When Rocklin police officers arrived, they identified the suspected drunken driver as Wright, and booked him into the Placer County jail, Cabana said, adding that he did not have information on Wright's blood alcohol level.
Wright's lawyer, Bill Portanova, said in the statement that "we are working closely with the Rocklin Police and cooperating fully in their investigation."
Wright has appeared in two of Sacramento's five games, and the Kings have a home game against Memphis on Saturday.
The statement did not say if Wright would face a suspension.
But Geoff Petrie, the Kings' president of basketball operations, said in the statement that "we are extremely disappointed in the situation Antoine has created for himself and the organization. There certainly has been no shortage of education and/or resources made available to our players in regard to these types of dangerous behaviors.
"We will, however, respect his right of due process at this time."
Team spokesman Troy Hanson said players can call team security at any hour if they need a ride. Players are also provided the phone number to an outside service for rides.
Wright's arrest is the latest in a string of run-ins with the law that Kings players, a coach and an owner have had in the past few years.
Last month, George Maloof Jr., the Kings' minority owner, was arrested on suspicion of drunken driving in Las Vegas, where he is also the owner of the Palms Casino Resort. Maloof registered a 0.086 blood-alcohol level.
NBA Rookie of the Year Tyreke Evans pleaded no contest in July to driving recklessly on May 31 when a CHP plane spotted him driving at nearly 130 mph on Interstate 80 in northern Sacramento.
Kings forward Andres Nocioni pleaded no contest earlier this year to a November 2009 drunken driving incident in downtown Sacramento. He was arrested after attending a nightclub and registering a 0.12 blood-alcohol level.
He was sentenced to three years of informal probation that included two days in jail to be served on the sheriff's work project, a three-month class and fines totaling about $2,500.
In March 2007, former Kings forward Ron Artest was arrested and charged with four counts of misdemeanor domestic violence. He pleaded no contest and was sentenced to 100 hours of community service.
In October 2006, then-Kings head coach Eric Musselman was arrested on suspicion of drunken driving following an exhibition win over the Utah Jazz. Musselman pleaded no contest and was sentenced to 48 hours on a work project, three years of informal probation and a $580 fine.
The league suspended Musselman for two games and he was fired when the Kings failed to reach the playoffs for the first time in eight seasons.
The Associated Press, Bee staff writer Jason Jones and Deputy Sports Editor Victor Contreras contributed to this report.
Call The Bee's Chelsea Phua, (916) 321-1132.