Renaldo Balkman banned from PBA for choking teammate

Christopher Pasatieri

Former Knicks and Nuggets forward Renaldo Balkman has been banned for life from the Philippine Basketball Association for grabbing the neck of a teammate during a heated altercation in a game last week.

Renaldo Balkman has been fined and banned for life by the Philippine Basketball Association for attempting to choke a Petron Blaze Boosters teammate in a game last week.

The incident occurred late in a contest against the Alaska Aces. Balkman was upset over a foul call, and made it known to multiple referees. As his teammates tried to calm him down, Balkman became more and more frustrated. Some shoving began, and then he put his hands around the neck of Arwind Santos, escalating the situation to the next level.

PBA commissioner Chito Salud explained his decision to ban Balkman in an official statement on the PBA's official site:

For initiating threatening physical contact with a referee followed by a prolonged, offensive, belligerent if not aberrant on-court decorum directed toward game officials and his Petron team mates and superiors, including the head coach and assistant coaches, amounting to a blatant and utter disrespect for the game, his own ballclub, the League, the fans and his host country, import player Renaldo Balkman is hereby meted the following penalties: Ban from playing in the Philippine Basketball Association; and, A fine of Two Hundred and Fifty Thousand Pesos (PhP250,000.00).

On Monday morning after the decision was handed down, Balkman took to Twitter to accept responsibility for his actions:

Balkman last played in the NBA in 2011-12, playing sparingly with the New York Knicks. It was his second stint with the Knicks after being drafted by them in 2006. Balkman has also spent time with the Denver Nuggets.

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