Ex-NBA player Balkman gets Philippine ban for choking teammate

Cesar Tordesillas – 4E Sports Contributor

New York, NY, United States (4E Sports) – Former New York Knicks and Denver Nuggets forward Renaldo Balkman was given a lifetime ban from the Philippine Basketball Association for choking a teammate.

He was also slapped with a US$6,000 fine, the largest in the league’s history.

Balkman, who was playing for the Petron Blaze Boosters, was unhappy about a non-foul near the end of their loss to Alaska. He went over to speak to an official then appeared to be demonstrating how he thought he was fouled, making plenty of contact.

When Petron assistant coach Biboy Ravanes tried to refocus Balkman, he was shoved back.

Balkman then started arguing with another referee who called a technical foul. At this point, Ronald Tubid, a teammate of Balkman, tried to get between him and the second referee. Balkman stalked across the court and went for a third official, while being shadowed by Tubid, until he shoved Tubid out of the way.

Another teammate, Arwind Santos, tried to intervene by putting himself between the third referee and Balkman. However, Balkman slapped Santos’ arm. Balkman then shoved Santos, prompting Santos to push back, before Balkman pushed once again and then grabbed Santos’ neck as their teammates tried to separate them.

The 6-8 forward tweeted several apologies to Santos and the Boosters saying the incident was in the heat of an intense game.

Balkman, born on Staten Island but raised in North Carolina, played college ball at the University of South Carolina.

He was selected by the Knicks 20th overall in the 2006 NBA draft and was dealt to the Nuggets in 2008 for a second round pick but returned to the Knicks as part of the Carmelo Anthony trade in 2011.

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