Australian NBA star Thon Maker has lashed out at FIBA’s decision to suspend him and two other Boomer teammates for their role in the wild brawl during a World Cup qualifier against the Philippines.
Maker said on Friday he disagrees with the three-match international ban he received, saying he was trying to protect himself and his teammates “without the adequate help from security”.
The Milwaukee Bucks centre gained internet notoriety for his attempted flykicks amid the July 2 fracas.
Daniel Kickert (five matches) and Chris Goulding (one) were also suspended for their participation in the fight.
While Maker noted his respect for FIBA, he used Twitter to explain his involvement in the fight, which has also resulted in bans for 10 Philippines players (a total of 35 games), their assistant coach (three), and head coach Vincent “Chot” Reyes (one and a $14,000 fine).
— Thon Maker ™ (@ThonMaker14) July 19, 2018
“I disagree with their decision to sanction me for three games,” Maker said on Friday.
“I tried to break up a conflict, but without security things quickly devolved into a very dangerous situation where I needed to act to protect my teammates and myself from imminent harm.
“As a human being I cannot turn my back on anyone, Australian or Filipino, teammate or not, who is being attacked by a mob without the adequate help of security.”
The Milwaukee Bucks star said his focus would turn his attention to the upcoming NBA season. He did not say if he would appeal his ban.
Meanwhile, Kickert put out a statement on Thursday through his NBL side the Sydney Kings, saying he regrettably accepts his penalty.
“It was a regrettable situation that I found myself in, but one that I was fully prepared to accept the sanctions which would be been handed down to me,” Kickert said in the statement.
“Playing for the Boomers is something that’s very important to me, and it’s certainly still a dream of mine to continue playing for them in the future.
“I’m grateful to Basketball Australia, the Players Association and the Sydney Kings Basketball Club for their ongoing support throughout this process and look forward to getting back on court and starting the pre-season with my new teammates soon,” the statement read.
Melbourne United shooter Goulding’s agent Daniel Moldovan labelled his client’s one-match ban “quite simply a disgrace”, and that he will be seeking legal council.
Moldovan said on Friday the fight “could have easily resulted in the death” of Goulding, who “neither provoked or retaliated to a vicious mob assault”.
Moldovan added that Philippines assistant coach Joseph Uichico’s three-match ban was “farcical”, joining a chorus of Australian basketball legends including Shane Heal and Andrew Bogut to slam the Philippines’ players and coaches sanctions.
He tweeted a video of Uichico joining the brawl where he is seen punching and kicking a downed Australian before being dragged away by another Filipino official.
— Daniel Moldovan (@AgentMoldovan) July 19, 2018
Basketball Australia are unlikely to appeal the FIBA bans and have scheduled a board meeting for Friday.
BA received a $135,000 fine for removing floor decals during training on the day prior to the game and their part in the third-quarter incident.
The Philippines’ national federation was fined $337,000 and also ordered to play one home game behind closed doors and be on probation for the next three years.
The referees who officiated the game were also suspended by FIBA.