Wallace facing seven-game suspension

Published: Sunday, January 19, 2003 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Sunday, January 19, 2003 at 2:59 a.m.

Trail Blazers forward Rasheed Wallace was suspended Saturday for seven games without pay for confronting and threatening a referee outside the Rose Garden in Portland.

Referees mentioned the confrontation in a routine report filed after Portland's 100-92 victory over Memphis on Wednesday night.

``He accosted a referee and threatened him,'' NBA senior vice president Stu Jackson said during a conference call Saturday.

Jackson refused to elaborate on the confrontation, which happened after the game in the arena's loading dock, where players and other game personnel park their cars.

``It's absolutely not fair,'' Blazers coach Maurice Cheeks said prior to his team's game against the Minnesota Timberwolves. ``I certainly don't believe he deserved seven games. I think this is a result of Rasheed's reputation and the Portland Trail Blazers' reputation.''

Jackson said there was no physical contact between Wallace and referee Tim Donaghy.

``We strongly believe the penalty that we issued was appropriate for Rasheed's actions,'' Jackson said.

Wallace can appeal the suspension. His agent, Bill Strickland, did not immediately return phone messages left at his office.

``Even if he appeals, you're not going to get back seven games,'' Cheeks said. ``We're still going to lose him. An appeal doesn't do any good for us. It's just something to put on a piece of paper.''

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