Guard benched one game after run-in with coach

Updated: December 18, 2004, 2:46 PM ET
Associated Press

CLEVELAND -- Cavaliers backup point guard Eric Snow was suspended for one game without pay for his sideline clash with Cleveland coach Paul Silas during Thursday night's loss in Detroit.

Eric Snow
Cleveland Cavaliers
23 3.6 1.7 3.5 .394 .818

Snow will sit out Saturday night's game against the Boston Celtics. The suspension will cost him one game's paycheck, about $54,000.

"It's unfortunate," Silas said after the team's morning shootaround. "But it's over with and we move on."

On Thursday, Snow was visibly upset when Silas pulled him from the game in the second quarter after a turnover on an eight-second call and he cursed while walking to Cleveland's bench. Silas didn't care for Snow's display and angrily confronted him before sending him to the locker room for the rest of the half.

Silas allowed Snow to rejoin his teammates on the bench after halftime but didn't play him. Silas refused to comment after the game, and repeatedly shot down a reporter's question about what occurred.

"Am I speaking Chinese?" Silas shouted in a memorable tirade that received national attention.

Cavaliers general manager Jim Paxson said that he consulted with Silas and owner Gordon Gund about the situation with Snow but that it was solely Silas' decision to suspend the 10-year veteran.

"Whatever Paul felt was appropriate to deal with this, Gordon and I support," Paxson said. "He was there, and ultimately as the head coach, he has that authority with his team."

Snow, averaging 3.6 points and 3.5 assists, isn't the first player to be disciplined by Silas, who appears to be well liked by his players.

Last year, he suspended Cavs forward Ira Newble for one game after a profanity-laced argument between the two after a game in Atlanta. Silas also kept former Cleveland guard Ricky Davis away from the team for a few days and didn't allow him or forward Michael Stewart to accompany the Cavaliers for a road game.

Silas and Davis, who was traded to the Celtics last season, had previous run-ins while they were together in Charlotte.

LeBron James said Silas' punishment is a good reminder to players about who is in charge.

"It doesn't matter how you look at it, he still has the head coaching title, which means we've got to respect him," James said. "He's the head of everything, so we've got to respect his title."

James was a bit surprised that Snow, whose work in the community has made him one of the league's most respected players, would come under Silas' wrath.

"But we're all human beings," he said. "Everybody is going to hit the boiling point one time, and this was his time."

Snow's suspension is the first bump in what has been a strong start to the season for the Cavaliers. Cleveland is in first place in the Central Division and has won nine straight games at Gund Arena.

With Snow out, Dajuan Wagner will back up Jeff McInnis at the point. Shooting guard Lucious Harris can fill in there if needed.

Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press