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10-28-2002, 07:57 PM
NEW YORK -- Rick Fox was suspended for six games and Doug Christie got a two-game ban for their roles in a bench-clearing fight during a Lakers-Kings exhibition game.

In Monday's surprise ruling, the NBA did not suspend any members of the Kings for leaving the bench during the brawl.

Fox and Christie will miss their teams' season openers Tuesday.

The fight broke out two minutes into Friday's game. Christie, a Sacramento guard, threw the ball at Fox, who hit him with an open hand. Christie then punched the Lakers forward in the jaw. After the players were separated and left the court, Fox rushed down a hallway under the stands and confronted Christie again.

Several Sacramento players left the bench area and raced down a tunnel leading to the locker rooms.

Lakers center Shaquille O'Neal was at the heart of the second scuffle in the tunnel. A strict interpretation of NBA rules would have resulted in at least a one-game suspension for anyone leaving the bench to join an altercation.

"Our rule regarding an automatic suspension for players leaving the bench was not intended to apply in a highly unusual situation like this one, where an altercation occurs in an access tunnel or hallway,'' NBA vice president Stu Jackson said. "In this circumstance, our judgment was that the players who left the bench were attempting to break up the fight and did not escalate the altercation.''

The NBA enforced a much tighter interpretation of the leaving-the-bench rule several years ago when fights broke out during playoff games between the Miami Heat and New York Knicks. In 1998, Chris Mills of the Knicks was suspended for a playoff game after walking just a few steps onto the court during a fight between Alonzo Mourning and Larry Johnson.

In 1997, Johnson, Patrick Ewing, Allan Houston and John Starks were suspended one game apiece for leaving the bench during a fight between P.J. Brown and Charlie Ward. The four suspended Knicks filed suit in federal court to have their suspensions overturned, arguing that they were acting as peacemakers, but a judge dismissed their claim.

Previous suspensions for leaving the bench were made in accordance with an NBA rule that states: "During an altercation, all players not taking part in the game must remain in the immediate vicinity of the bench. Violators will be suspended without pay for a minimum of one game and fined up to $20,000.''

Fox and Christie did not receive fines on top of the suspensions but will take hits to their salaries. Fox will be allowed to attend the Lakers' ring ceremony before Tuesday night's home opener against San Antonio but then must leave the building immediately.

What do you think of Rick Fox's six-game suspension?
Too heavy
Too light
Just right

Fox loses $289,349 in wages and is not eligible to play for the Lakers until Nov. 8 against Washington. Fox, who expected to receive the harsher penalty after sprinting to the tunnel and waiting for Christie after both had been ejected, joins O'Neal on the sideline for the season's first week. The Lakers were scheduled to place O'Neal on the injured list Monday, meaning he'll have to sit out L.A.'s first five games.

Christie loses $138,889 in salary, and his absence means Sacramento will be without two potential backcourt starters for its first two games. Mike Bibby is expected to miss up to 20 games after undergoing foot surgery in the preseason.

Christie would be eligible to play for the Kings on Saturday at Memphis.

10-28-2002, 08:10 PM
Sounds about right. However I actually think shaq, horry should probably get one as well. Especially Horry if he went with Fox as I heard.

10-28-2002, 10:35 PM
Even though there is lost salary involved, I can't believe there weren't any fines over this fiasco. But the games off sounds about right.

Base Line Guy
10-28-2002, 11:28 PM
How many games did Doug Christie's bitch ass wife get suspened for running into the tunnel to save her husband?

I HATE that trick.


10-28-2002, 11:29 PM
nice to see Christie learned something from his woman.i/expressions/face-icon-small-shocked.gif

10-29-2002, 12:58 AM
I say, let 'em fight. They're all big boys and should be able to defend themselves. A good fight once in a while might do some of those guys some good.

It would weed out the weaker players. Think of it as a lion and gazelle situation. When the lion kills the slowest and weakest gazelle in the herd, the herd becomes stronger and faster as a unit. This could work as a motto for future training camps. Put the guys on the floor and let them beat the s*** out of each other. The first few guys that run off the floor are cut. The ones that last the longest are your starters.

I think this might work. i/expressions/face-icon-small-happy.gif

10-29-2002, 09:12 AM
Ah...sweets is ever the Darwinist.i/expressions/face-icon-small-wink.gif

10-29-2002, 11:32 AM
Save what? His hand from getting hurt busting Rick Fox on his head? I know you saw how Shaq was clowning on Fox when he spoke to the media! Rick probably wants to be banned from being with the team like Sprewell so the rest of the Lakers don't make fun of him all year.

At least he has an acting career because he sure can't fight!


<< How many games did Doug Christie's bitch ass wife get suspened for running into the tunnel to save her husband?

I HATE that trick.

BLG >>