Friday , Jan , 28 , 2005 C.Y. Ellis

Blazers suspend Miles for two games

Portland, OR (Sports Network) – The Portland Trail Blazers have
suspended forward Darius Miles for two games for conduct detrimental to the
team and insubordination.

“I am disappointed that we’ve had this distraction to deal with today,” said
Trail Blazers President Steve Patterson. “We expect a certain behavior from
everyone in our organization, and what happened yesterday is not acceptable
behavior. The organization is suspending Darius for two games effective
today.”

Miles, who is averaging 12.9 points and five rebounds in 32 games this season,
reportedly berated head coach Maurice Cheeks on Thursday during a film
session, repeatedly calling the coach a racial epithet.

The 23-year-old Miles and Cheeks have a history of disagreements in practice
this season, but none was thought to have reached this intensity.

It is unknown what started the confrontation in question, but Miles has made
it clear he wants to be a starter. He took over the starting small forward
spot in December when Shareef Abdur-Rahim was injured, then kept it when
Abdur-Rahim returned.

However, in his 10th game as a starter, after averaging 16.6 points and 7.1
rebounds, Miles injured his left knee, and was forced to miss eight games. He
returned to the team on Saturday but has not started any of the three games
since.

Miles, who never attended college, was originally selected by the Los
Angeles Clippers with the third overall pick in the 2000 NBA Draft.

This isn’t the first time the team has had to suspend a player for a run-in
with Cheeks. Bonzi Wells was suspended one game in March 2003 for cursing at
Cheeks during a practice. Then, in November 2003, Wells was suspended two
games for a profanity-laced tirade to Cheeks on the court after he was taken
out of a game at Dallas.

Two weeks later, Wells was traded to Memphis.

Portland will host the Clippers on Friday at the Rose Garden.

POR