THE OUTRAGEOUS behavior of too many players led the National Basketball Association to suspend Latrell Sprewell, the Golden State Warriors all-star who assaulted his coach. But the NBA undercut its own decision by not allowing Mr. Sprewell to be heard. The league subsequently lost the earlier support of the NBA Players Association for sanctions against Mr. Sprewell. It also opened the door for a possible reversal of its action by an arbitrator.
Not even Mr. Sprewell has said he should be let off without punishment for trying to choke Coach P.J. Carlesimo. It was an egregious, criminal act and should be punished harshly. The Warriors did just that by terminating Mr. Sprewell's $32 million contract. The player's association didn't object to the team's decision, but the union was angered by the NBA's refusal to let Mr. Sprewell come in to tell his side of the story. "Don't bother, we've already made our decision," deputy commissioner Russ Granik reportedly said.