Former New York Knicks first-round draft pick Renaldo Balkman has been banned from the Philippine Basketball Association after bumping a referee and choking a teammate on court.
The 28-year-old forward also was fined 250,000 pesos ($6,150) for his actions in a game last week against the Alaska Aces, PBA Commissioner Chito Salud said today in a statement on the league website.
The 20th pick in the 2006 National Basketball Association Draft, Balkman signed with the Petron Blaze Boosters this season after a six-year NBA career in which he never averaged more than five points a game.
Balkman displayed “a blatant and utter disrespect for the game, his own ballclub, the league, the fans and his host country,” Salud said.
Balkman verbally confronted a referee in the fourth quarter against the Aces after he believed he was fouled. He received a technical foul after bumping the referee, and shoved multiple teammates who tried to restrain him, choking one of them.
Balkman apologized on his Twitter account for his actions, calling his resulting punishment a “lesson learned.”
“I accept all responsibilities for my actions while playing an intense game,” he said. “I have truly enjoyed my time here playing in the Philippines.”
Salud said Balkman, a native of New York’s Staten Island, head-butted an opponent during an International Basketball Federation game in 2011 while playing for Puerto Rico, and was involved in an altercation with the Aces’ bench during a preseason game in Cebu City this year.