After accepting a plea deal in his domestic violence case involving his wife a month ago, Sacramento Kings guard Darren Collison has been suspended eight games by the NBA, the league announced on Sunday. Collison will be able to practice with the Kings and play in their preseason games.
From the press release:
The NBA conducted its own investigation into this matter, including a review of all available materials and interviews of the parties involved. The NBA also consulted with a panel of experts in the field of domestic violence, upon whom the league relies in connection with such matters.
Based on this investigation, consultation, and a careful weighing of all the facts and circumstances, the NBA determined that an eight-game suspension was appropriate. Among other factors, the NBA took into account the conduct and its result, the player's acceptance of responsibility, his cooperation with both law enforcement and the NBA, and his voluntary participation in counseling in addition to the court-mandated program.
Mr. Collison's suspension will commence with the Kings' first regular-season game, against the Phoenix Suns on Oct. 26.
The sentence about Collison accepting responsibility, cooperating with law enforcement and voluntary counseling was likely included to explain why this punishment is so much less severe than former Charlotte Hornets forward Jeffery Taylor's. In 2014, commissioner Adam Silver released a lengthy statement about the NBA's investigation into Taylor's domestic violence incident and its decision to suspend Taylor for 24 games. The league was largely lauded for taking a strong stance on the issue back then, so this relatively tame ruling could be seen as a step in the wrong direction.
Collison was initially arrested on May 30 at his home in Granite Bay, California, and then charged on June 17. As part of his plea deal, he avoided jail time -- instead, he was sentenced to three years of informal probation, a 52-week "batterer treatment" class and community service.
When Collison returns from the suspension, he is expected to be Sacramento's starting point guard. In the meantime, Ty Lawson, Garrett Temple and the recently signed Jordan Farmar will play the position.