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In re Latrell Sprewell

National Basketball League Arbitration Proceeding
NBA-NBPA Arb. (1998)


Latrell Sprewell (plaintiff) was the star player on the Golden State Warriors basketball team. Sprewell had a deteriorating relationship with head coach PJ Carlesimo. One day at practice, Carlesimo raised his voice while directing Sprewell on a play. Sprewell cursed at Carlesimo, and Carlesimo cursed back at Sprewell. Sprewell then lunged at Carlesimo and put his hands around Carlesimo’s throat. Coaches and players immediately rushed over to remove Sprewell’s hands from Carlesimo’s throat. Sprewell then was taken to the locker room. Sprewell returned to the basketball floor and walked toward Carlesimo. Players and coaches attempted to keep the two separated, but Sprewell managed to punch Carlesimo. Sprewell was immediately removed from the floor. After the incident, the Warriors decided to terminate Sprewell’s contract. The National Basketball Association (NBA) commissioner also decided to suspend Sprewell for one year. Sprewell filed a grievance. The issue was heard by an arbitrator.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (Feerick, A.)

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