A former NBA player was recently banned from the basketball league in the Philippines after he choked a teammate during a confrontation with a referee
Former NBA player Renaldo Balkman, who spent time with the New York Knicks and Denver Nuggets, was banned from the professional basketball league in the Philippines for grabbing a teammate around the neck during a game.
Balkman was also hit with a fine of 250,000 Philippine pesos, or about $6,000, Philippine Basketball Association Commissioner Chito Salud revealed in a statement on Monday.
Balkman was playing for the Petron Blaze Boosters during a game against the Philippines-based Alaska Aces. He put his hands around the neck of Arwind Santos, who was trying to put himself in between Balkman and the referee.
Balkman did not appear to appreciate the intervention and displayed his frustration against Santos when he would not back down from trying to diffuse the tense situation.
Salud explained that he considered Balkman's past history as a player, which included a headbutting incident during a FIBA-Americas game between his Puerto Rico side and Venezuela, before handing down his decision.
"I also took into consideration Balkman's evident disregard for local and the host country's sensibilities highlighted by his choking act on-court in full public view of his own team mate who was trying to pacify him," Salud said.
"I do encourage passion for the game but I also want to firmly instill a culture of accountability among our players. If one does something that violates the rules and the norms of sportsmanship and decent behavior, he will be made accountable," the Commissioner continued.
The 28-year-old pushed several of his other teammates during the skirmish, and the Boosters went on to lose 73-83. The lifetime ban and fine are said to be the largest in PBA history for a non-native "import" player.