Tuesday, March 3, 2009
Updated: March 4, 12:41 PM ET
Karl says professional line crossed
ESPN.com news services
AUBURN HILLS, Mich. -- Carmelo Anthony's checkered reputation took another hit.
The two-time Olympian served a one-game suspension Tuesday night handed down by the Denver Nuggets because coach George Karl tried to put him on the bench and he refused.
"In my mind, that crossed the line," Karl said.
Anthony wasn't with the Nuggets when they played on the road against the Detroit Pistons on Tuesday.
"I saw him yesterday. I didn't see him today," Karl said before the Nuggets' 100-95 loss. "I'll spend some time with him tomorrow. I think he's traveling with the team. I heard he was going to be on the plane."
Denver's next game is Thursday night at home against the Portland Trail Blazers.
The Nuggets had said they suspended Anthony for an "in-game transgression" Sunday against Indiana, declining to provide details of what he did.
During a timeout against the Pacers, though, Karl said Anthony became the first player in his two-plus decades as a coach to stay on the court after being told he was being taken out of the game.
"There's a thin line between passion and an aggressive want to be on the court and emotional immaturity," Karl said. "It happens all the time. Coaches snap and act like an idiot on the sideline because of the emotional stress of the game.
"Our mantra and mission statement from the beginning of the season [was] to be more disciplined, to be more professional and to do things the right way."
Karl, though, wishes Anthony didn't merit a suspension.
"It's not what I want," Karl said.
An e-mail seeking comment was sent to Anthony's agent, Calvin Andrews.
As productive as Anthony has been since the Nuggets drafted him No. 3 overall in 2003, his behavior has often been a problem.
Nearly five years ago, he apologized to his teammates for refusing to play in the final minutes of a loss on the road against the Pistons.
The Nuggets suspended him for the first two games of this season, punishing him for getting arrested for drunken driving last spring while they were pushing for a playoff berth.
He was suspended for 15 games in the 2006-07 season for his involvement in the Nuggets' brawl with the New York Knicks when he landed a punch and ran away.
Earlier in his career, Anthony's name kept showing up in the headlines for all the wrong reasons: A bar fight in New York City; a bag of marijuana found in his backpack at the airport; showing up on a bootleg DVD in Baltimore in which a man threatened to kill drug snitches.
Anthony, who helped the Americans win the gold medal at the Beijing Olympics last summer, is averaging a team-high 21.6 points and 7.4 rebounds. He's missed 15 games previously this season, likely costing him a third straight All-Star selection, with a broken bone in his right hand, an injured right elbow and the season-opening suspension.
The Baltimore native has averaged 24.1 points, 6.2 rebounds and 3.1 assists in the NBA since lifting Syracuse to a national championship in his one college season.
Information from The Associated Press contributed to this report.