TO Richard Smith belongs the ignominy as the first player to be fined by the Asean Basketball League (ABL) this season.
The league cracked the whip on the Indonesia Warriors’ big man, penalizing him for instigating in an endgame altercation with San Miguel’s Asi Taulava during the opening game ushering the ABL’s fourth season last week in Jakarta.
The exact fine wasn’t disclosed, but the ABL posted about the decision on its website.
Smith, a Fil-American born in Subic Bay, shoved Taulava shortly after the Beermen’s victory over the defending champions that was caught by ESPN during its live coverage of the game.
Cooler heads intervened and prevented a full-blown altercation between the two.
According to the ABL, Smith will be slapped with a one-game suspension if he doesn’t pay the fine.
The Warriors will not appeal the decision.
Smith’s act has obviously irked Taulava, a former PBA Most Valuable Player, calling it a ‘cheap shot.’
“I’m the wrong guy to mess with. He has that to sign out when he gets here. Good luck to him. Richard should learn to read between the lines,” Taulava warned.
“He’s a wannabe tough guy on the court. But off the court, I know he’s just a pussycat,” he added.
The altercation between Taulava and Smith had been going on early in the game as the two were caught trash-talking.
Unfortunately, the 6-foot-7 Smith took it to a higher level by shoving Taulava when match was over.
Smith grew up in Bremerton, Washington and played for the American Basketball Association side Salem Sabres.