Sacramento Kings co-owner Joe Maloof called Nuggets forward Kenyon Martin's hard foul of Spencer Hawes "thuggery" and demanded an apology for the incident in Monday night's game, The Sacramento Bee reported.
As Hawes was going up for a right-handed fast-break dunk in the first quarter, Martin shoved him near the right armpit, knocking him to the ground.
Hawes remained on the floor for several minutes, clutching his left knee and conferring with Kings trainer Pete Youngman, before making two free throws and leaving the game. Martin, who has gained a reputation for aggressive, physical play, was assessed a flagrant foul 1.
Maloof, speaking before an MRI revealed that Hawes had suffered a strained knee rather than a more serious injury, said Martin owed Hawes and his team an apology, according to the report.
"That was thuggery," Maloof said, "and you can quote me on that. Kenyon Martin wasn't trying to block the shot. He went right at Spencer when he was running full speed and at the [height] of his jump, when he was most vulnerable," according to the report.
"Completely unnecessary. The Nuggets might not want to hear this, but there was no excuse for that, and he [Martin] needs to apologize to Spencer and our organization. That just wasn't right," Maloof added, according to the Bee.
When asked about the play, Martin shook his head and said it warranted a foul, not a flagrant 1, according to the report.
Hawes, however, felt the right call was made, the newspaper reported. "I saw the replay. It didn't look like he was anywhere near the ball," he said.