Ex-NBA Player Renaldo Balkman Chokes Teammate During Meltdown in Philippines

Gabe Zaldivar@gabezalPop Culture Lead WriterMarch 8, 2013

I guess you could say things could be going better for former NBA player Renaldo Balkman, who once enjoyed stints with the Nuggets and Knicks before departing overseas to play in the Philippines. 

That should be enough of a backstory for you to appreciate this video of Balkman going from irate basketball player to all-out madman. 

Update: Monday, March 11, 11:26 a.m. ET 

Aaaaand Balkman is done. 

The Philippine Basketball Association reports former NBA player Renaldo Balkman will be banned for life from the PBA, following a statement from the commissioner which included the following. 

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 :

  1. Ban from playing in the Philippine Basketball Association; and,
  2. 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. 

---End of Update

The video is of Friday's game between Balkman's Petron Blaze Boosters and the Alaska Aces in Philippine Basketball Association action. 

Unfortunately, that action turned violent in the final moments. 

Balkman goes up for a shot and misses, then pleads his case that he was fouled. So far, nothing newsworthy, because every NBA game features much of the same. 

Things get a tad dicey, though, as the 28-year-old bumps the ref and then hits his arm as he tries to show him how he was fouled. That's pretty much the moment one coach thought, Yeah, I should probably go get him now

That particular coach wasn't counting on being shoved, which quickly becomes the least egregious moment of the video. 

The announcer adorably asks for someone to restrain Balkman—something that becomes clear is not going to happen. At least not without somebody getting their neck wrung.

As his fellow players try to calm him down, Balkman continues pushing against good sense, ending with him choking his teammate, Arwind Santos. 

Well, no good athletic meltdown ever goes down without a subsequent and awkward apology. 

Yahoo! Sports reports Balkman has since apologized to his team and will also have to meet with the commissioner’s office on Monday.

Renaldo Balkman @R_Balkman32

I wld like to apologize to the fans, Petron Blaze, my teammates, the PBA and especially @tubidronald71 and @Arwind029

Renaldo Balkman @R_Balkman32

I got caught up in the moment of a very intense game.I respect @Arwind029 as a person & player.I am proud to be part of @PetronBlaze fam.

Renaldo Balkman @R_Balkman32

This was unintentional towards @arwindsotnas, I am a team player who always has the best interest of the team at heart.

Balkman was also on the Spin.PH's Snow Badua podcast and offered the following:

It was in the heat of the moment, I was frustrated, I hate myself for what I did. Everybody sees me as a bad person. But, that’s not me, that’s not me. [...]

I am a professional, I am not supposed to do that. I already apologized to Arwind (Santos), his family and my teammates, including our bosses.

Everybody does something once in a life, they’re not supposed to do. At the time I blanked out and went at it. It’s my first time ever in my entire life to do that.

I have had some awful and thoroughly frustrating days before, but so far I've yet to choke anybody. That's not really a means to boast, but in light of this recent video, I will now pat myself on the back for never choking anyone. 

We forgive, but that doesn't mean we have to forget. Thank you for your apology, Balkman. We can now move on.

But you let a simple basketball game destroy every last bit of your good sense. You went and choked a friend and teammate, and that will never change. 

Not that you should worry, because most people seem to have forgotten all about Latrell Sprewell, so you should be fine. 

Hit me up on Twitter for more crazy from the interwebz.


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