Lightning coach suspended, fined; team issuing appeal (update)
London Community News
By John Matisz/London Community News
London Lightning head coach Michael Ray Richardson has been handed a one-game suspension and an undisclosed fine for an incident that occurred in a game at the John Labatt Centre Jan. 19 versus the Halifax Rainmen.
Exact reasoning for the suspension and fine total were not included in a press release sent out by the National Basketball League of Canada (NBLC) early Tuesday morning (Jan. 24).
However, Lightning general manager Taylor Brown said the punishment is related to a between-whistles verbal exchange between Richardson and Rainmen coach Josep Ciaros Canals. The team is going to appeal the suspension and fine today, Brown said, and it should take a couple of days for the process to unfold.
"Our opinion is that it was a misunderstanding. Nothing said was offensive in any way," Brown told London Community News late Tuesday morning. "We find it hard to believe no one (at the scorers and media table) said anything at the time, and there was no technical foul (issued)."
John Kennedy, commissioner of the NBLC, had just a single quote in the release: "The National Basketball League of Canada looks to establish and maintain the highest standards of professionalism and good sportsmanship on and off the court."
Past the midway point of the season, the Lightning are 19-5, a record good enough to rank them first among the league's seven teams.