Monday, March 11th, 2013 at 9:40 am  |  26 responses

PBA Bans Former NBAer Renaldo Balkman for Life for Choking Teammate (UPDATE)

Despite his apology immediately following the choke job on a teammate, Renaldo Balkman was fined and banned for life by the Philippine Basketball Association. PBA commissioner Chito Salud explains the heavy-handed decision (per Inquirer Sports): “For initiating threatening physical contact with a referee followed by a prolonged, offensive, belligerent if not aberrant on-court decorum directed toward game officials and his Petron team mates and superiors, including the head coach and assistant coaches, amounting to a blatant and utter disrespect for the game, his own ballclub, the League, the fans and his host country, import player Renaldo Balkman is hereby meted the following penalties: Ban from playing in the Philippine Basketball Association; and, A fine of Two Hundred and Fifty Thousand Pesos (PhP250,000.00). In arriving at this decision, I took into consideration Balkman’s track record as a player, including the head-butting incident during a FIBA-Americas game between Puerto Rico and Venezuela and his altercation with the bench of the Alaska Aces during a pre-Season game in Cebu City. I also took into consideration Balkman’s evident disregard for local and the host country’s sensibilities highlighted by his choking act on-court in full public view of his own teammate who was trying to pacify him. Stiff as it maybe, this decision upholds the tenets of contextual accountability and the over-all interest of the League and the fans. I do encourage passion for the game but I also want to firmly instill a culture of accountability among our players. If one does something that violates the rules and the norms of sportsmanship and decent behaviour, he will be made accountable.”


We just got the following email from Renaldo Balkman’s publicist, Shawn Zanotti of Exact Publicity:

“I would like to thank my teammates, the fans who have given me unconditional support and I adore, the Philippines Basketball Association and the entire Petron Blaze Boosters organization for allowing me to do what I enjoy doing best—playing the game of basketball.

I fully accept all responsibility for my actions, expressed frustration, during the midst of an intense game. I would especially like to apologize once again formally to Arwind Santos as I would never intentionally inflict harm on another human being, especially him, a teammate who I care for and respect deeply. Again, I am sorry for my irresponsible actions. I apologize whole heartedly for acting unprofessional. I obviously let my game disappointment and emotions get the best of me.

This was a life-learning lesson that I will ensure will never be repeated. To my other fellow basketball colleagues, I am sorry. Our industry should maintain the highest level of professionalism during all times.

I thank you all for your support during this time.”

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  • Emerson

    Damn. I bet you this kind of punishment would set the entire NBA straight lol

  • http://twitter.com/paphe6 frank j. pacheco

    Mental case

  • patrick

    overreaction imo…who gives a crap..the “choke” was light and completely overblown imo..

  • nhm

    it really wasn’t the first time he was in trouble despite just playing 6-7 games in there. he fought with another team before. quite stiff, but yes, the league will had to do it so set an example, too bad it just so happened to be balkman. he really was balling out there.

  • http://www.facebook.com/mattjonner.salazar Matt Jonner Salazar

    Prior to this “choking” incident, Balkman was the instigator in a near brawl during the pre- season. It was really horrible when he grabs his team mate’s neck and push it back.He made his bed and has no choice but to lay in it.

  • Fatboycy

    obviously you did cause you took the time posting…btw there were kids watching inside the coliseum not to mention people watching at home. so how would you feel seeing that “light choke” live then?

  • http://twitter.com/niQknacks niQ

    lol Balkman said in his statement that this was the first time he ever behaved in such a manner. Then the PBA Commish calls him out on it with a couple similar acts in the past.

  • Troy

    I can see why this guy isn’t in the NBA no more. What a disgrace & he let his emotions get the best of him. What a disgrace.

  • http://therealsuperstu.blogspot.com Ivan Stewart Saldajeno

    With the tone of his message, I’m pretty sure Balkman’s going to retire! Another draft bust brought to you by Isiah Thomas.

  • KoloradoKobe

    There’s a team called the “alaska aces” in the philippines? And why isn’t Mario Chalmers on that squad?
    All kidding aside, Balkman’s reply was straight up – just a sincere apology, no backtracking with “yeah, but…” I respect that. He manned up and took responsibility and didn’t look for an excuse.

  • RayJr

    After being banned from a league in the Phillipenes where else could he expect to play? An old friend of mine played in a Mexican league a few years back where they would give you case of Corona’s as a bonus for a good game.

  • uqk

    it’s his publicist or agent who writes….anyone but renaldo himself, this kind of apology usually tailored by publicist/agent/PR people…like in colorado, or when tiger crash in to a tree, or lance

  • ayochaser

    You’re already out of the NBA before 30 this probably wasn’t the career move to make. Hopefully he learns from it.

  • GymAlien

    you mean the case of corona wasn’t his entire pay?

  • KoloradoKobe

    Yeah, I know, but every baller has a publicist and a lot of em still screw up – see: Howard, Dwight. Whether you write it or not, you sign it.

  • bike

    Next time Renaldo, choke a chicken.

  • vtrobot

    I agree with you. It’s interesting how placing a hand around someone’s throat is viewed as a much more violent act than striking them in the head with a closed fist. If he’d punched his teammate (and likely caused much greater injury), he probably wouldn’t have been banned from the league for life.

  • anbeithioche koosemek

    dunno about pba. this guy is probably an allstar over there and think’s he’s like mike or something. good that he apologized, but karma is a b**ch! he deserved what he got

  • roscoe

    the L literally handles these things with seamless PR moves.

    for instance, Mbenga put his hands on a cop in DAL last year… and now he has been banished from the league.

    the only difference is the PBA acted quickly and publicly which I commend.

  • Gus

    haha very funny guys…case of corona, millions of dollars, whatever, 70 % of them are going broke after their bb careers end so, it doesn’t matter?

    cheers from Mexico, enjoy your high paid “athlethes” because you’re the ones paying them

  • Wish you luck

    Nice try…tell your publicist to prepare a better statement than that it sound good but that don’t fly…you lost it not once not twice but a couple of time,your a pro act like one it’s only basketball. Now you may not get to play another game.

  • Ugh

    Fair call.

  • Ugh

    He didn’t even choke him – he shoved him and his hand contacted the player’s throat. This is sensationalism.

  • KaAnoy

    If I am on Santos’ shoes, I would take grudge against Balkman for “choking” and return the favor harshly by shooting him in the eye with my AK-47.

  • http://twitter.com/Jzakoni Sanchez

    this scrub ass ni66a doesnt deserve a career

  • http://twitter.com/Jzakoni Sanchez

    your momma & aunties giving neck was also a bonus