N E W Y O R K, Jan. 17, 2001 -- New York's Marcus Camby was suspended five games and fined $25,000 by the NBA today for taking a roundhouse swing at San Antonio's Danny Ferry and head-butting his own coach.
Ferry was suspended one game and fined $7,500.
Camby's punch did not strike Ferry because Knicks coach Jeff Van Gundy stepped between them at the last moment. Camby's head collided with Van Gundy's, opening a cut above the coach's left eye that required 12-15 stitches.
Camby's outburst occurred after he was struck in the eye while he and Ferry were jostling for rebounding position in the fourth quarter of New York's 104-82 victory over the Spurs Monday.
Camby: ‘I Regret That I Lost My Cool’
After being restrained by one referee and speaking with another, Camby suddenly bolted toward Ferry near the scorer's table and started swinging.
If Van Gundy hadn't stepped in the way, the punch might have connected and Camby might have faced an even longer suspension.
Ferry will serve his one-game suspension Wednesday night when the Spurs play at home against the Toronto Raptors. The Knicks are entering a five-game stretch against Detroit, Indiana, Milwaukee, Charlotte and the Los Angeles Lakers, beginning Friday.
"I regret that I lost my cool, because that's not me," Camby said Tuesday. "Those who have been around me since I've been here know that I'm an easygoing-type guy. I just lost it when I saw that blood, and I was truly, truly in the wrong."
Camby wound up with scrapes above both his eyes — one from being poked by Ferry, one from colliding with his coach. Van Gundy's eye also is swollen.
"Seeing Jeff today, I just feel sorry for the guy," Camby said Tuesday. "Because if you look at him you'd think he's really been in a fight."
Words of Praise for Defense
As Camby left the court, he grabbed a folding chair — an action he admitted was "ridiculous" — before a security official took it away from him. He stood outside the Spurs' locker room before being persuaded to leave, then spent another 20 minutes in a tunnel near where the Spurs' team bus was idling.
"My car was blocked in, so people thought I was down there waiting to start something. If you had seen [Knicks president] Dave Checketts trying to push this car out of the way to get my car out of there, it was the funniest thing," Camby said.
Camby met with Van Gundy on Tuesday after speaking with several teammates by telephone Monday night.
"We talked about everything, about suspensions and all that, and he [Van Gundy] said, 'Despite all that, you played the best defense on David Robinson of anyone I've ever seen,"' Camby said. "Coming from him, it was great … and I respect him more today because of the conversations we had."
The punishments were announced by NBA vice president of operations Stu Jackson.
Camby is averaging 10.6 points and 11.1 rebounds as the starting center for the Knicks, who have won nine of their last 10 games.