Alex Len paid the biggest price.
Phoenix Suns center Alex Len has been suspended one game without pay for leaving the bench area and entering the playing court during an altercation, it was announced today by Kiki VanDeWeghe, Executive Vice President, Basketball Operations.
In addition, Suns guard Tyler Ulis and forward Marquese Chriss and Memphis Grizzlies guard Troy Daniels have each been fined $15,000 for their roles in the altercation, which took place with 1:10 remaining in the fourth quarter of Memphis’ 110-91 win over Phoenix at FedEx Forum on Feb. 8.
Len will serve his suspension tonight when the Suns host the Chicago Bulls at Talking Stick Resort Arena.
Len is the unfortunate victim of a well-intended and effective rule that sometimes reaches further than ideal. In the name of avoiding escalation, the league simply suspends anyone who leaves the bench during a fight — even someone like Len, who was clearly trying to deescalate the incident. Already-scrapping players don’t always immediately know why someone is running toward them, and it’s better to limit the numbers involved. Len should have known better.
Everyone else gets off fairly light — especially Booker, whose jawing with Daniels got this skirmish rolling.