| ||NEW YORK -- Chris Childs of the New York Knicks and Kobe
Bryant of the Los Angeles Lakers were fined and suspended by the
NBA on Monday for fighting.
Childs was suspended without pay for two games and fined
$15,000. Bryant was suspended without pay for one game, which based
on his $9 million salary for the season will cost him $100,000, and
NBA vice president Rod Thorn said Childs instigated the fight
and threw punches during Sunday's nationally televised game. Bryant
was disciplined for responding with a punch.
The skirmish in Los Angeles happened with 43 seconds left in the
third quarter and the Lakers leading 71-60. The Lakers won 106-82,
their 28th victory in 29 games.
Childs will not play Thursday at home against Washington and
Friday in Orlando. Bryant will sit out Tuesday's game in Phoenix.
"The fine, I really don't care much about," Bryant said Monday
at the Lakers practice facility in El Segundo, Calif., before the
team left for Phoenix. "The fact that I'm missing a game is what
I'm really concerned about. I'm really upset about that."
Bryant did, however, acknowledge the suspension was deserved.
"I think it's justified, violence is not the way," he said
when asked about the NBA policy that mandates a suspension for
throwing a punch, no matter the circumstances.
"We have to set an example for children who are watching to
turn the other cheek, as hard as it may be, and understand if you
don't do that, there will be consequences.
"I'm not pro-fighting, by any means, but if it comes to that
point, you have to do what you have to do."
Bryant said the incident started when Childs was holding him.
"So I got him off me with an elbow, it's part of the game,"
Bryant said. "It pretty much happens on every play. Things kind of
escalated and he decided to throw a punch. I didn't think he was
going to take a suspension.
"He tried to head-butt me, I backed him up a little bit and he
decided to throw a punch, then run."
When asked if Childs was trying to get under his skin and see
how he'd react, Bryant replied, "I don't think so. I don't think
he's that smart. If someone's going to push you, you have to show
where your limit is."
Lakers coach Phil Jackson came to Bryant's defense after the game.
"It is pretty much a natural reaction for a player who takes a
punch and doesn't see it coming, then he is going to react to it,"
he said. "I am sorry about that, but it is probably human
The fight began when Bryant came around a screen and appeared to
clip Childs in the chin with an elbow. While play continued, the
two exchanged words and bumped chests.
Childs threw two punches, appearing to hit Bryant in the neck
and upper chest. Bryant missed with a punch. Neither player was
The game was delayed for nearly five minutes before the players
left the court -- Bryant angrily, Childs more peacefully.
"He hit me in the elbow in the mouth, and I just reacted,"
Childs said after the game. "He does it a lot and never gets
called for it. I just had to defend myself. I wish it hadn't
happened, but there's nothing I can do about it now."
The game became more physical in the third quarter, and Lakers
center Shaquille O'Neal blamed the Knicks for the confrontation.
"Everyone knows Kobe is a clean-cut kid," he said. "He was
|New York's Chris Childs throws a punch at the Lakers' Kobe Bryant during a third-quarter scuffle.|| |
Shaq, Lakers take the fight out of Knicks
Kobe Bryant and Chris Childs mix it up in L.A.
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