Nine players and assistant coach have been asked to explain their actions as the NBL attempts to tidy up in the aftermath of it’s most-watched moment.
The Sydney Kings and Illawarra Hawks game and the derby between Melbourne United and South East Melbourne Phoenix both descended into chaos.
After a war of words between front offices in the lead-up to Saturday’s game, Kings guard Angus Glover was ejected when a push-and-shove followed his block on a shot from the Hawks’ Sam Froling.
On Sunday, Mitch Creek’s thunderous dunk over high-profile United recruit Matthew Dellavedova was the catalyst for an ugly incident.
Dellavedova’s teammate Mason Peatling took offence to Creek’s post-dunk celebration and crudely body-checked the Phoenix ace, knocking him to the court and sparking a large scuffle.
On Tuesday the NBL claimed the clip of the dunk and resulting fracas had been viewed a staggering 10 million times while inviting the total of 10 players and coaches to make submissions to the Game Review Panel regarding the two incidents.
Creek and teammates Izayah Le’afa and Kyle Adnam have been cited for engaging in a melee or brawl, as have Glover, Xavier Cooks (Sydney Kings), Froling and Justinian Jessup (Hawks).
Peatling’s reaction (unduly rough play and engage in melee/brawl) will also come under the microscope, while United’s David Barlow (bench clearing during fight) and assistant coach Justin Schueller (unsportsmanlike behaviour) were implicated for their roles in the aftermath of Creek’s dunk.
All players and coaches have until 6pm on Tuesday to respond, with clubs keen for a resolution given United host the Kings at John Cain Arena on Thursday.
The NBL is also investigating United’s sideline announcer Wayne Peterson, who has been stood down for the club’s next two NBL home games.
Peterson said Phoenix’s Chinese star Zhou Qi “probably doesn’t understand” why the crowd cheered when he missed two free-throw attempts.
The comment referred to the prize of a free burger that each person at John Cain Arena would receive due to the consecutive missed free throws.
The Phoenix lodged a complaint with the NBL about the comment, and the league is now investigating the matter.
United released a statement on Monday evening saying that although the comment was “inappropriate”, it has full confidence that Peterson had no intention of insulting Zhou.
“Peterson has reached out to offer his unreserved apology to Zhou Qi directly. He would also like to apologise to any other party who took offence,” the club said in a statement.