Former NBA player Renaldo Balkman is going to get paid to play basketball somewhere in the future, but it’s not going to be in the Philippines.
After snapping — first shoving then choking a Perton Blaze teammate who was just trying to calm Balkman down during a recent Philippine Basketball Association game — PBA commissioner Chito Salud handed down a fine of 250,000 Philippine Pesos (about $6,150 American) and a lifetime ban from the league for Balkman. Here is Salud’s statement.
In arriving at this decision, I took into consideration Balkman’s track record as a player, including the head-butting incident during a FIBA-Americas game between Puerto Rico and Venezuela and his altercation with the bench of the Alaska Aces during a pre-Season game in Cebu City. 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 teammate who was trying to pacify him. Stiff as it maybe, this decision upholds the tenets of contextual accountability and the over-all interest of the League and the fans.
Balkman apologized, but that’s going to be too little, too late in this case. Balkman only played seven games in the PBA. Can’t blame the league for this.
Like I said, Balkman — a former Knick and Nugget — is too good a player not go get paid to play somewhere next season. But I feel safe in saying both the Philippines and NBA are going to be out of the picture.