Golden State Warriors guard Latrell Sprewell was suspended without pay for a minimum of 10 games after he physically attacked coach P.J. Carlesimo at practice on Monday, the team announced.
According to sources, Sprewell first choked, then threw a punch at Carlesimo during two separate incidents at the team’s training facility.
Carlesimo sustained cuts and abrasions to his neck.
“I have never seen anything like it in all my years of basketball,” said one veteran player who refused to be identified.
If the suspension is for the minimum 10 games, it will cost Sprewell $939,000 in salary.
Several players indicated that at no time during either incident did Carlesimo fight back, and during the second time Sprewell accosted Carlesimo threatened him and shouted, “I want to be traded today.”
Jackson, Jordan feel betrayed
Phil Jackson and Michael Jordan say they feel betrayed by Scottie Pippen, who has said he’ll never again play for the Chicago Bulls.
Jackson said there might be lingering resentment even if the All-Star forward changes his mind and returns to the team he helped win five titles.
“It’s all right to hold it against Scottie,” Jackson said. “We care about Scottie, but we’re going to hold this against Scottie because he’s walking out on us, there’s no doubt about that.”
Jackson and Jordan said they might not have returned this season had Pippen expressed his unhappiness during the summer.
“There is that kind of feeling: ‘Hey, we came back to do this job together and Scottie ducked out the door,”’ Jackson said.
Said Jordan: “It would have made a big difference in terms of me and Phil and a lot of other players. I’m pretty sure management would have changed the whole” team structure.
Wizards open new arena
It’s hoped the new MCI Center will turn downtown Washington around. The Washington Wizards hope it will turn their season around.
The $200 million arena opens with the Wizards-Seattle SuperSonics game with President Clinton among the 20,000 fans in attendance.
But the Wizards (5-11) have no time to stand on ceremony. They are 0-5 at home, a lethargic last hurrah in a 24-year stay at USAirways Arena.
Expensive, to say the least
Staples Inc. agreed to pay a record $100 million to have a new arena in Los Angeles named after the office supply retail chain for the next 20 years.
The 20,000-seat, $300 million Staples Arena is scheduled to open in the autumn of 1999 and will be home of the NBA’s Los Angeles Lakers and the NHL’s Los Angeles Kings.