Memphis Grizzlies guard Nick Calathes (12) drives to the basket against Indiana Pacers guard George Hill (3) during the game at FedExForum. Photo by Justin Ford, USA TODAY Sports/Reuters.
NEW YORK - Nick Calathes, a Greek rookie backup guard for the Memphis Grizzlies, was suspended 20 games without pay Friday by the NBA for a doping violation, the league announced.
Only minutes before the opening day of the playoffs, the NBA revealed that Calathes would be banished after testing positive for tamoxifen, a banned substance found in a supplement he had been taking.
The suspension for Calathes will begin with Saturday's playoff opener for the Grizzlies at Oklahoma City.
Last season, Memphis upset Oklahoma City in the playoffs.
Calathes, a 25-year-old who played college basketball at Florida, averaged 4.9 points, 2.9 assists and 1.9 rebounds a game this season for the Grizzlies.
A national team player for Greece, Calathes also helped Athens Panathinaikos to Greek league crowns in 2010 and 2011 and a runner-up showing in 2012.
Last year he sparked Russia's Lokomotiv Kuban to the EuroCup title, being named the event's Most Valuable Player.
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