The Kings have caught a break. When the Hornets’ Jeff Taylor accepted a guilty plea for domestic violence several years ago, he got a 24 game suspension.
This summer Kings’ point guard Darren Collison accepted a plea deal in a domestic violence case (one misdemeanor charge) involving his wife that also included 20 days in jail (although he will not serve his time in a traditional jail) and three years probation.
However, Collison will only be suspended eight games to start the season (less than 1/10th of the season), something first reported by Marc Stein of ESPN and now confirmed by the league.
This is a suspension without pay that will cost Collison $380,000.
The Kings released this statement.
“Domestic violence is a serious issue and directly contradicts the values of the Sacramento Kings. Darren has taken responsibility for his actions and will work to raise awareness of this critical issue in the community. We support the NBA’s decision on this matter.”
The NBA does independent investigations of these cases and does consult with a panel of experts in the domestic violence field when coming up with these recommendations. Here is a portion of their press release on how they got to this number.
Based on this investigation, consultation, and a careful weighing of all the facts and circumstances, the NBA determined that an eight-game suspension was appropriate. Among other factors, the NBA took into account the conduct and its result, the player’s acceptance of responsibility, his cooperation with both law enforcement and the NBA, and his voluntary participation in counseling in addition to the court-mandated program.
I don’t doubt they put thought into this incident, and that it is different from the Taylor case. Collison is not the player you’d expect to be in this situation if you talk to him, and I think the Kings handled this well. Regardless of the circumstances around it, domestic violence is a serious issue nationally and in professional sports. It is unacceptable behavior, and this punishment from the league feels light.