China captain punished for attack
BEIJING -- China captain Liu Wei has been fined and suspended by the country's national association for his part in a postgame confrontation with former NBA forward Gabe Muoneke.
Muoneke, who played for Houston, Charlotte and Utah, wasn't injured in the Nov. 28 incident following a game between his Yunnan Running Bulls and Liu's Shanghai Sharks, according to the Chinese Basketball Association's Web site.
Liu is best known for his partnership with Yao Ming, the Houston Rockets star and his former Sharks teammate. The pair were the core of the team that made it to the quarterfinals at the Beijing Olympics in August.
Cai Liang and Muoneke had clashed on court as they wrestled for the ball. Cai, Liu and other members of the Sharks confronted Muoneke as he was leaving the stadium with his wife, three children and mother-in-law, the association said.
Muoneke was hit by a water bottle, chased into a corner, and surrounded by Sharks players. The incident was captured on security cameras, and the footage was reviewed by the league.
"The incident was abominable and serious in nature, casting a terrible influence over society and seriously harming the CBA's brand and reputation," the CBA said in a statement.
Liu and teammate Cai each must pay a $7,300 fine and serve a 10-game suspension. Their team was fined $14,600, the association said.
The strong response appears to reflect efforts to reform the ailing league. In recent months, the CBA has partnered with the NBA on venue management and recently ordered teams to reveal their players' true ages to end the common practice of under-reporting ages to keep players eligible for youth tournaments.
Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press
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