RENALDO Balkman became the first player in 15 years to be banned for life from the PBA and the sixth on record, joining a dubious list that included Kelvin Upshaw and Ronnie Thompkins.
Commissioner Chito Salud banned Balkman for his attack on Petron teammate Arwind Santos late in a loss to Alaska on Friday night, making the six-year NBA veteran the first player to be banned from the pro league since Jojo English in 1998.
English was banned from the league in 1998 for breaching his contract with Sta. Lucia Realty - the same offense that caused the life ban of another former Realtors import, Clifford Lett.
Three of the cases involved drugs - former Alaska import Derrick Hamilton, former Shell reinforcement Upshaw, and Thompkins, a former best import awardee with Swift who died in 2003.
However, there are contrasting claim by Spin.ph columnist Fidel Mangonon III that Thompkins was never meted a life ban but was simply shipped out by his mother ballclub.
But a check with the league records showed his name was on the list of players it has banned for life.
Aside from the drug ban, Upshaw gained infamy in the PBA for showing his behind during a televised game.
But the case that comes closest to Balkman's was the ban on Andrew Moten, a former San Miguel import who after being ejected from a 1991 game went berserk, shouting invectives at referees, disrespecting league officials, and insulting the media while refusing to leave the venue.
He was later banned for life by the late Rudy Salud, father of the current league commissioner Chito Salud.
That game also featured San Miguel (Petron's forerunner) against Alaska.