Fan who confronted wife of Knicks' Davis won't sue

Updated: January 24, 2006, 8:08 AM ET
Associated Press

CHICAGO -- In the end, after all the harsh words and the threat of lawsuits, everyone agreed: It's time to move on.

The Chicago Bulls fan whose confrontation with Antonio Davis' wife led the New York Knicks forward to rush into the stands will not sue the player and his wife.

In a joint statement released Monday, Michael Axelrod and the Davises said the episode evolved from "some simple misunderstandings."

"Common sense strongly suggests that we collectively put this episode behind us and move on. That's what the Davises and Michael Axelrod plan to do, and we hope everyone else will, as well," the statement read.

Axelrod's attorney, Jay Paul Deratany, said in a telephone interview: "Both sides expressed regret for any miscommunication that occurred. Both parties want to move forward with being a fan and watching the game and being a ballplayer. They've expressed their regret and that's good enough for the family. And we're satisfied with the result."

Axelrod and Kendra Davis exchanged words during Wednesday's Bulls-Knicks game, and the trouble escalated from there. Another fan became involved, and Antonio Davis ran into the stands during a timeout in overtime. He was ejected and, ultimately, suspended for five games by the NBA. He issued a statement after the game saying a drunk fan had touched Kendra.

The next day, Axelrod said he had only one glass of wine with dinner a few hours earlier and had threatened to sue for at least $1 million. On Friday, Axelrod and his attorney said they would drop the issue if the Davises issued a public apology.

The Davises refused. But agent Bill Duffy and Axelrod's father David -- a prominent Democratic political consultant -- continued to talk.

"It's good to come to a sensible resolution of this matter, especially where good people are involved," Duffy said in the statement. "You have two strong, wonderful families, and there's no reason why a heated moment should divide them."

David Axelrod said in the statement: "Emotions always get cranked up after incidents of this type. It's good to step back and let common sense prevail."

Michael Axelrod, 22, works for his father and for Deratany, a family friend. Deratany had given the Davises a week to apologize before filing a battery lawsuit against Kendra Davis and a slander suit against her husband.

"It's never been our desire to push this forward," Deratany said. "It's always been our hope that we could resolve this amicably and without litigation."

The incident sparked memories of last season's brawl involving fans and players during a game between the Detroit Pistons and Indiana Pacers, which resulted in lengthy suspensions and criminal charges for Indiana's Ron Artest, Stephen Jackson and Jermaine O'Neal.

Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press