The 'Choke' Artist
Dec. 1, 1997 - Three days after being fined for missing a team flight and arriving late to Salt Lake City the night before a game, Latrell Sprewell let Golden State Warriors coach P.J. Carlesimo know that it was best to leave him alone.
"I don't want to hear it today," Sprewell said after Carlesimo asked him to throw crisper passes during a practice.
Tensions had been boiling between the two. Three weeks earlier, Carlesimo yanked Sprewell from a game against the Los Angeles Lakers, calling him a joke, because Sprewell was laughing in the huddle during a timeout. The Lakers held a big lead at the time.
Today, Carlesimo was warned by Sprewell not to approach him. When the coach ignored the caveat, Sprewell grabbed Carlesimo by the throat for 10-15 seconds before the other players stepped in. About 20 minutes later, Sprewell returned to throw punches at the coach. He landed a glancing blow.
"What I did was wrong, but when you sit back and watch it take off, you realize you have no control over it," Sprewell said. "Once the media got hold of it, it wasn't coming back. It was me against the world at that point."
Odds 'n' Ends