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Spitting Gum Leads to One Game Suspension

The NBA Development League came down hard on forward Henry Walker for his actions on Sunday against Maine.  

The League suspended Henry Walker of the Sioux Falls Skyforce for one game without pay for spitting his gum towards an opposing player. The incident occurred with 4:12 remaining in the first period of the March 30 game against the Maine Red Claws.

As so often happens with the final act, there were extracurricular activities leading up to the emotional overflow. The first exchange occurred with about 8:20 left in the first period. Damen Bell-Holter was posting up on the left side of the paint with Walker guarding. Bell-Holter did not get an entry pass and shed Walker’s defense with an elbow to Walker’s chest. Maine’s Frank Gaines made a shot to end the possession and immediately, Walker delivered a shoulder blow to Bell-Holter’s chest in response.

Walker vs. Bell-Holter round 2 occurred with 6:15 left in the first period as Bell-Holter posted up on the right side of the lane. Facing Walker, Bell-Holter drove into the lane and led with the shoulder into Walker’s chest and was called for an offensive foul. Simultaneously, Walker was trying to poke the ball free as Bell-Holter was bringing the ball up for a shot. Bell-Holter hit Walker in the face with his left hand as the ball sprang free and the shooting motion continued. Walker had to take a little time to gather himself before returning to action.

On the next trip up the floor, Walker stalked toward Bell-Holter and basically walked through the Red Claws forward to disrupt the defensive stance. Walker then did the same to guard Tyshawn Taylor plus an extension of the forearm out on the perimeter. Walker drove the lane and missed a shot and was played straight up by forward Daniel Orton. Maine went the other way and as Gaines drove to the basket, Walker made contact with his arm to Gaines’ head which was deemed flagrant with 5:49 to go in the opening quarter.

Walker’s last action on the court was with 4:13 to play. Trailing a cutting Julian Mavunga through the lane, Walker brushed by Abdul Gaddy who was leaning in to screen Walker. Walker initiated contact by bringing his arm up high across the side of Gaddy’s head and the official whistled the second flagrant foul. On the way to the locker room after the ejection, Walker then walked by the Red Claws bench and spit his gum out presumably in the direction of Bell-Holter thus prompting the NBADL to take action.

Walker will serve his suspension on Friday, April 4 when the team hosts the Texas Legends. Watch how the series of events unfolded in the adjoining clip.

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