The NBA has suspended Portland guard CJ McCollum for opening night for leaving bench during a preseason game altercation.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) October 14, 2017
McCollum left the bench in the scuffle between Blazers big man Caleb Swanigan and Suns center Alex Len last Wednesday night in the Blazers’ 113-104 victory.
The scuffle between Alex Len ad Caleb Swanigan is the reason why CJ McCollum is suspended. pic.twitter.com/ipuOFFTcCC— Clevis Murray (@ClevisMurray) October 14, 2017
NBA.com has posted its own video of the incident here, in which McCollum can indeed be seen briefly entering the court from the bench before he was held back by Geoff Clark, the team’s head athletic trainer.
Trail Blazers team beat reporter Casey Holdahl provided details about the financial ramifications of the suspension for the fifth-year guard:
McCollum suspended for the first game of his new contract, meaning he'll lose somewhere around $292,000. Come on...— Casey Holdahl (@CHold) October 14, 2017
Update: Casey uncovered the actual amount McCollum will be fined for based on the NBA’s Collective Bargaining Agreement:
According to Larry Coon's salary cap FAQ, players are fined for suspensions of less than 20 games at 1/145th of their salary— Casey Holdahl (@CHold) October 14, 2017
McCollum, 26, has been suspended before under interesting circumstances. Back in January 2016, he missed a game due to a clerical error that Clippers coach Doc Rivers insisted on enforcing when Blazers coach Terry Stotts forgot to enter McCollum’s name on the pregame active list required by the NBA.
McCollum will be back on the court for the Blazers on Friday night against the Pacers in Indiana.
The 6’3” wing apologized to fans on Saturday for the incident:
Blazers @CJMcCollum tells ESPN: "I've been in the league way too long to have a mental lapse like that..." Apologizes to team, fans.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) October 14, 2017
The full apology was posted on ESPN.com by Wojnarowski, and reads:
"I've been in the league way too long to have a mental lapse like that. I want to apologize to my teammates and the organization for putting our team in this situation. The Western Conference is already tough enough as it is. It won't happen again. Lesson learned. I take full responsibility for those eight expensive and costly steps."