CHICAGO -- In the end, after all the harsh words and the threat of lawsuits, everyone agreed: It's time to move on.
In a joint statement released Monday, Michael Axelrod and the
Davises said the episode evolved from "some simple
"Common sense strongly suggests that we collectively put this
episode behind us and move on. That's what the Davises and Michael
Axelrod plan to do, and we hope everyone else will, as well," the
Axelrod's attorney, Jay Paul Deratany, said in a telephone
interview: "Both sides expressed regret for any miscommunication
that occurred. Both parties want to move forward with being a fan
and watching the game and being a ballplayer. They've expressed
their regret and that's good enough for the family. And we're satisfied with the result."
Axelrod and Kendra Davis exchanged words during Wednesday's
Bulls-Knicks game, and the trouble escalated from there. Another
fan became involved, and Antonio Davis ran into the stands during a
timeout in overtime. He was ejected and, ultimately, suspended for
five games by the NBA. He issued a statement after the game saying
a drunk fan had touched Kendra.
The next day, Axelrod said he had only one glass of wine with dinner a few hours earlier and had threatened to sue for at least $1 million. On Friday, Axelrod and his attorney said they would drop the issue if the Davises issued a public apology.
The Davises refused. But agent Bill Duffy and Axelrod's father
David -- a prominent Democratic political consultant -- continued to talk.
"It's good to come to a sensible resolution of this matter,
especially where good people are involved," Duffy said in the
statement. "You have two strong, wonderful families, and there's
no reason why a heated moment should divide them."
David Axelrod said in the statement: "Emotions always get
cranked up after incidents of this type. It's good to step back and
let common sense prevail."
Michael Axelrod, 22, works for his father and for Deratany, a
family friend. Deratany had given the Davises a week to apologize
before filing a battery lawsuit against Kendra Davis and a slander
suit against her husband.
"It's never been our desire to push this forward," Deratany
said. "It's always been our hope that we could resolve this
amicably and without litigation."
The incident sparked memories of last season's brawl involving
fans and players during a game between the Detroit Pistons and
Indiana Pacers, which resulted in lengthy suspensions and criminal
charges for Indiana's Ron Artest, Stephen Jackson and Jermaine O'Neal.