Renaldo Balkman freaked out during a Philippine Basketball Association game last night, shoving referees, coaches and teammates before eventually putting his hands on the throat of teammate, Arwind Santos. Balkman, who currently plays for the Petron Blaze Boosters in the PBA, was upset after a non-call late in a game against the Alaska Aces. He goes after all three referees while coaches and teammates try to cool him down. Eventually, one teammate shoved back and Balkman responded by putting his hands on his throat. Eventually, someone came out of the stands wearing a denim shirt with the sleeves cut off to calm Balkman. Announcers thought it might be a friend.
You may recall Balkman as a first round pick of the New York Knicks in the 2006 Draft. Balkman spent two years in New York before he was traded to the Nuggets and then back to the Knicks as part of the Carmelo Anthony deal. Last year he was released to make room for J.R. Smith.
[UPDATE] Balkman’s PR staff has released a statement:
“I, Renaldo Balkman, would like to apologize to my teammates, the fans, the entire Philippines Basketball association, and the entire Perton Blaze Boosters organization. I would especially like to apologize to Arwind Santos and his family. I would never intentionally inflict harm on another human being, especially a teammate who I respect deeply.
My behaviors, during a very intense moment of a heated game, game as a surprise even to me. It is not in my character to react physically in any situation and this is the first time I have ever behaved in such a manor. My actions were out of line and I am ready to fully accept any consequences for my actions. I hope that the Petron Blaze Boosters management will recognize this unfortunate situation as a slip up that will never happen again.”