Bam Adebayo’s heartbroken reaction to Brittney Griner being sentenced to 9 years in prison

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Miami Heat center Bam Adebayo was one of many who expressed his pain over Brittney Griner’s nine-year sentence on drug charges in Russia.

Bam Adebayo Brittney Griner

Adebayo’s broken heart emoji followed his incredulous expression of Griner’s plight. Such subtle assessments offer hints into the frustration being felt by those in the basketball world.

Griner was arrested in February, prior to the start of the country’s invasion of Ukraine. She has remained jailed ever since and has recently been the subject of negotiations regarding her potential release to the United States.

Griner was convicted by Russian prosecutors of attempting to smuggle less than one gram of cannabis oil in her luggage. While Griner admitted her guilt, the steep sentence is something that would’ve likely result in a fine had it taken place in the United States.

Many have accused Russia of using Griner as a political pawn in an effort to get Russian criminals currently jailed in America released. Those negotiations for Griner’s release have also included attempts to free another jailed American, Paul Whelan, who’s been imprisoned since 2018.

The level of Griner’s offense and Whelan’s alleged espionage against Russia pale in comparison to the imprisoned Russian most mentioned as a possible candidate to be released. Viktor Bout was convicted in 2011 for trying to sell weapons to a designated terrorist group.

For now, all Adebayo and others can do is hope that the negotiations will continue in the weeks ahead so that Griner’s ordeal can finally come to an end.

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Brad Sullivan is a freelance writer for, having been an avid fan of NBA basketball for more than four decades. During that time, he's watched the Heat evolve from gestation period to expansion team all the way to three-time NBA champions. He'll follow their quest toward again reaching those lofty heights, and do so by offering some perspective along the way.