Portland forward Zach Randolph was suspended for two games and fined $100,000 by the team for punching teammate Ruben Patterson in the face during Wednesday's practice, the latest in a string of discipline problems for the Trail Blazers.
Randolph threw the punch while Patterson's arms were held back by teammates who had stepped in to stop a brief skirmish between Qyntel Woods and Patterson, according to The Oregonian.
The Trail Blazers had been scrimmaging near the end of what Coach Maurice Cheeks termed a "heated" practice when Patterson and Woods began pushing and bumping each other, the paper said. Randolph, Woods' close friend, came to the defense of Woods and hit Patterson, the paper said. It was unclear what the original argument was about, and Cheeks would not say.
Patterson became livid and broke free from the grasp of Arvydas Sabonis and Chris Dudley, but he was unable to reach Randolph, the paper said. Woods and Randolph were escorted out of the practice facility in Tualatin, Ore., to prevent a further altercation.
"There's been heated discussions before, but I've never seen it like this," Cheeks said. "The punishment fit the crime. It's severe, but what happened is severe."
Last Saturday, Woods was cited by Portland police on marijuana possession charges after a traffic stop. Rasheed Wallace and Damon Stoudamire were cited for misdemeanor marijuana possession after a traffic stop in Washington state on Nov. 22. Both cases were resolved in court.
Patterson was arrested on suspicion of domestic assault on Nov. 25. Charges were not pursued at the request of his wife, but the Trail Blazers fined him $100,000.
Wallace was suspended for seven games by the NBA for threatening an official after a Jan. 15 game. It was the longest suspension for a matter not involving drugs or physical contact.
Bonzi Wells was suspended by the team for one game after arguing with Cheeks during practice on March 10.
Ron Artest was fined $20,000 by the NBA for his latest outburst on the court: an obscene gesture to the crowd after being struck by a coin during Indiana's victory at Cleveland on Wednesday.
Artest, among the league's top defensive players, avoided suspension for the sixth time this season. He has already missed 12 games because of suspensions for bad behavior and flagrant fouls.
In a two-sentence release, Stu Jackson, NBA vice president of operations, said the Pacers' enigmatic forward was fined for "directing obscene gestures toward fans."
Charlotte Hornet guard Baron Davis will be listed as day to day after twisting his left knee against the New Jersey Nets on Wednesday. Results of an MRI exam were negative, the team said. Davis returned to the lineup March 11 after missing 20 games following surgery on the knee.