Brisbane Bullets centre Aron Baynes has issued a public apology after receiving a five-game ban for sparking several incidents during a round-two NBL match against Cairns Taipans.
It comes as Adam Forde, the Taipans coach at the centre of one of those fiery confrontations, broke his silence.
Taipans forward Lat Mayen elbowed Baynes in the neck as the pair jostled for a rebound during Saturday night’s game in Brisbane, prompting the NBA champion to furiously appeal to the referees for a foul.
The incident later spilled off the court with Baynes physically confronting Mayen and Taipans coach Adam Forde during the half-time break to air his grievances.
Both Mayen and Baynes were ejected from the game before the third quarter began.
After Thursday night’s tribunal hearing, Baynes was found guilty of excessive disputing for remonstrating with the referees, unsportsmanlike conduct for bumping Mayen as the teams left for half-time and an abnormal or unacceptable act for confronting Forde.
“I unreservedly accept that my conduct was unacceptable, and I have fallen short of the standard expected of a representative of the Brisbane Bullets and the NBL,” Baynes said in a statement.
“I wish to sincerely apologise for my actions.”
Baynes’ physical confrontation with Forde was considered the most serious of his indiscretions and after footage and audio was reviewed, accounted for three matches of his ban.
Usually outspoken, Forde was tight-lipped about Baynes’ clash with Mayen post-match and remained so when it came to light he had been involved in his own dust-up with the centre.
In comments to the media, Bullets advisor Stu Lash accused Forde of waiting outside Brisbane’s dressing room at half-time to confront Baynes.
But the Taipans coach did not respond until after Baynes’ verdict was released.
“It has been difficult to remain quiet given all the accusations, but I have been comfortable knowing that once footage and audio was obtained, I would be cleared of any wrongdoing,” Forde said.
“The unedited and original CCTV footage and audio shows I was outside our team’s changeroom and proves I did not start the verbal conversation or instigate any physical exchange.
“I would like to thank the Cairns Taipans for their support during this process, the NBL and the Cairns community.”
For his role in the episode, Mayen has already accepted a $1550 fine but will not miss any game time, while Forde has escaped sanction altogether.
Lash received an official warning for his public comments.
Tyrell Harrison is the likeliest man to replace Baynes at centre in the starting five for Friday night’s clash with the Sydney Kings, with NBL Next Star Rocco Zikarsky also available.