Etan Thomas with Fight Particulars

Etan Thomas vs. Brendan Haywood, as reported by John N. Mitchell in the Washington Times:

"What really happened was that after we argued and I hit him, he pushed me into the lockers," Thomas said yesterday. "We squared off, and he grabbed my hair with both hands and wouldn't let it go. Then, while Michael Ruffin was holding me and he had my hair, he sucker-punched me twice. That's what really happened."

It continues:

"Let me say first of all that I do not have a problem with Brendan. I have been his teammate for five years now, and we've been through a lot together," Thomas said. "Secondly, let me say that I understand that he has been pretty frustrated with how things have developed for him, but handling that disappointment with a level of maturity and dignity is something that he needs to learn.

"The day that coach made the announcement he had a great practice, the best I've ever seen from him. That level of competition can be utilized to further motivate both of us. I understand he's been frustrated, but disrespect is something that I simply cannot tolerate. I worked extremely hard this summer to prepare myself, and I am looking forward to a very productive season."