MANILA: Ex-NBA player Ivan Johnson has had his lifetime ban in the Philippines’ professional league for a foul-mouthed outburst at an official reduced to one year after he made a personal apology, the league said Wednesday.
Ex-Atlanta Hawk Johnson was banished mid-game on Saturday after he used “the f-word” in an argument with Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) commissioner Chito Narvasa.
But after a meeting with the player, who plays with the Talk ‘N Text Tropang Texters team, Narvasa reduced the ban to one season, league spokesman Willie Marcial told Agence France-Presse.
“He apologized, he explained to us… he is really different on the court. He wanted to show he is really a good man,” Marcial said of the meeting, where he said Johnson brought along his wife and two children.
“I really love my fans in the Philippines,” Marcial quoted Johnson, 31, as saying.
The PBA also reduced Johnson’s 250,000-peso fine ($5,600) to 150,000 pesos, Marcial added.
The 6ft 8in (2.03 meter) power forward, has had a chequered career, having been suspended for one game earlier this month for fighting with players of an opposing team.
He was also banned for life by the Korean Basketball League in 2010 for making an obscene gesture at a referee.
And during an abbreviated 2011-2013 NBA career, he was fined for various altercations with fans and officials.
Marcial said: “He [Johnson] knows if he does something again, he will really be finished in the Philippines.”