WASHINGTON -- The running feud between Etan Thomas and Washington Wizards teammate Brendan Haywood escalated with another exchange of blows, leading to a two-game suspension for Thomas and leaving the team thin along the frontcourt.
Thomas was suspended for throwing a punch at Haywood during training Friday. Thomas was retaliating for what he believed was an intentional elbow.
"This cat decides to hit me with a cheap shot during practice and I reacted," Thomas told the Washington Post. "I could have turned the other cheek. I guess I didn't."
Thomas and Haywood, who have been competing for playing time at center, have clashed several times. They fought in the locker room on Nov. 2 and had another altercation last season.
After Saturday's practice, coach Eddie Jordan was asked if the latest scuffle is a distraction to the team.
|Etan Thomas has been battling teammate Brendan Haywood -- literally -- for the starting center job. (Getty Images)|
Thomas won the starting center's job over Haywood during training camp, but Thomas sprained his ankle in early December and missed 13 games. Haywood became the starter and has stayed in the role since Thomas' return.
The Wizards, who have lost three of four, also are without injured forward Antawn Jamison (knee).