Memphis Grizzlies coach Lionel Hollins banned gambling by players on team flights and in hotel rooms after a fight over an unpaid debt from a card game, The Commercial Appeal reported.
The team said the altercation between guards O.J. Mayo and Tony Allen occurred this week on the National Basketball Association team’s charter flight home from Los Angeles.
“We’re in a confined airplane and things get heated,” Hollins told the Memphis newspaper yesterday. “I’m done with it. No more gambling. I told my guys if they read a book that would be good. They have to entertain themselves in a different manner.”
The players were not disciplined by the team. The newspaper said Mayo, who missed a Jan. 4 game with what the team said was bronchitis, had a swollen eye after being struck at least five times by Allen.
The incident comes a season after unpaid gambling debts resulted in a confrontation between Washington Wizards teammates Gilbert Arenas and Javaris Crittenton. Arenas brought guns into the team’s locker room the following day, violating local law, and was suspended by the NBA for the rest of the season.