Sunday, January 06, 2002

Martin suspended for violence again


Former UC star reprimanded twice within a month

Enquirer wire reports

        NEW YORK — Kenyon Martin of the New Jersey Nets was suspended for two games and fined $15,000 by the NBA on Saturday for throwing a punch at Tracy McGrady of the Orlando Magic.

        McGrady was fined $5,000 by the league for retaliating with a shove in Friday night's 109-96 victory by the Magic.

        Martin, suspended once earlier this season, was given a flagrant foul and ejected. McGrady received a technical foul and also was tossed.

        Martin knocked McGrady to the floor with a forearm on a layup attempt with 2:57 to play.

        “It was a hard foul,” said Martin, who guarded McGrady most of the night. “That's all it was, a hard foul. It's over.”

        When asked whether he expected a suspension for throwing the punch he responded, “Whatever.”

        McGrady got up quickly and bumped and shoved Martin. The Nets' power forward threw a jab before officials and teammates separated the two.

        Martin was suspended for a game for a flagrant foul against Karl Malone of Utah on Dec.22.

        “That was a vicious foul. No way was a two-game suspension enough for what he did,” Rivers said before Saturday's game against the Golden State Warriors. “It should have been a four- or five-game suspension for what he did. Tracy could have been hurt; maybe the intent was to hurt him.”

        The Martin-McGrady fracas began with the Magic up 98-92, when McGrady faked Martin off his feet underneath and got pulled to the ground by his shoulder by Martin as Martin came down. As McGrady began to go after Martin, Martin threw a right hand that, if anything, grazed McGrady.

        The punch set off McGrady even more, and teammate Darrell Armstrong and official Bernie Adams had to hold him back from going after Martin.

        Being a former player, Rivers understood Martin's rationale on his sixth foul. If he was going, he was taking McGrady with him.

        “It's never justified,” Rivers said. “You try to walk away. I'm the last to talk, though. I was never very good at that myself.”

       



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