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Monday, March 11, 2013
Philippine league bans ex-Knick Balkman

By Jared Zwerling

Renaldo Balkman
Renaldo Balkman
Bye, bye, Balkman.

Three days after ex-Knicks forward Renaldo Balkman lost his cool overseas in a game, choking a teammate who was apparently trying to restrain him from attacking a referee, he has received a lifetime ban from the Philippine Basketball Association.

Balkman, a former first-round pick (20th overall) by the New York Knicks in the 2006 NBA draft, had been playing for the Petron Blaze Boosters in the PBA. He apologized for the incident on his Twitter account, but was still handed the harsh punishment, which included a $6,100 fine.

PBA commissioner Chito Salud said that he took into consideration Balkman's past playing history, which included a head-butting incident during a FIBA-Americas game between his Puerto Rico team and Venezuela.

"I do encourage passion for the game, but I also want to firmly instill a culture of accountability among our players," Salud said in a statement on Monday. "If one does something that violates the rules and the norms of sportsmanship, and decent behavior, he will be made accountable."

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