- The Washington Times - Saturday, February 2, 2002

THE WASHINGTON TIMES

Washington Wizards starting center Jahidi White received a fine and suspension for his involvement in an altercation during the Wizards' victory Thursday over the Cleveland Cavaliers. He served the one-game suspension last night, missing the game with Atlanta.

White, who was ejected in the fourth quarter when he became entangled with Cleveland center Zydrunas Ilgauskas and appeared to lunge at him, was suspended without pay for one game and fined $7,500 for what the NBA termed "deliberately head butting" Ilgauskas.

More devastating to White than the league fine is the one-game suspension, which will cost him approximately $48,000 in salary. A one-game suspension is the equivalent of 1/90th of a players' annual salary, which in White's case is $4.3 million.

White is eligible to return to the team tomorrow, when the Wizards play Indiana, and he can practice today. Last night he was not permitted to be at MCI Center before, during or after the game.

Wizards coach Doug Collins, who is particularly fond of White, spoke with him early in the day. Collins said White regretted the incident and was concerned that he had hurt his team's chances of beating the woeful Hawks.

"I know Jahidi felt badly after the game," Collins said. "I talked to him today. I told him I know it was an unfortunate things. I told him hopefully we'll get a good win for you."

Ilgauskas also received a fine for his role in the incident, which occurred moments after Washington's Chris Whitney sank a crucial 3-pointer.

A fine also was leveled against Cleveland rookie center DeSagna Diop. Diop received an automatic one-game suspension for leaving the immediate vicinity of the team bench.

John N. Mitchell

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