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Martin fined $15,000 for his use of profanity around fans

Published February 14, 2006 at midnight

After looking into multiple incidents last week surrounding Kenyon Martin, the NBA has fined the Denver Nuggets forward $15,000.

Martin was fined by the league Monday for inappropriate language, including profanity, during interactions with fans after last Wednesday's game at the Pepsi Center against Chicago.

The fine was for Martin's conduct while signing autographs after the game. ESPN's Jim Gray reported last Friday that he and other ESPN personnel witnessed Martin go through a "profanity-laced tirade" while he was with three friends and fans were nearby.

It also had been alleged that a friend of Martin's went into the stands during the game to threaten a heckler. But the NBA found no evidence that Martin, who sat out that game with a sore knee, had anything to do with that.

"We investigated a few different situations," said Stu Jackson, the NBA's senior vice president of basketball operations. "The sum total of his actions was he used inappropriate language, including profanity, during interactions with fans. . . . There was nothing substantiated that he sent a person into the stands."

Jackson said the NBA also looked into an altercation Martin had after Friday's game against Dallas with a radio reporter in the locker room. Jackson declined to offer any details or say whether that factored into his fine.

Jackson, who said he didn't speak to Martin but that league investigators did, said the NBA considers the matter closed.

Martin could not be reached for comment. His agent, Brian Dyke, did not return a message.

Martin last Thursday denied any involvement in sending anyone into the stands. Nuggets general manager Kiki Vandeweghe has said a team investigation came up with no evidence of Martin being involved.

Martin would not comment last Friday on the ESPN report. He said on Sunday he did not expect to be disciplined for anything.

"For what?" he said. "I didn't do nothing. Why would there be any discipline? I didn't do anything."

Vandeweghe did not return a message Monday. A team publicist said he would comment today.

Vandeweghe said Sunday the Nuggets "obviously take any type of bad language very seriously in front of our fans." But Vandeweghe said it was concluded nothing by Martin "ever was directed at a fan."

When told what Vandeweghe said, Jackson said the NBA took into account that Martin's language came when he was "interacting with fans." Jackson said Martin was signing autographs for fans.

Gray reported that there "were women around, young people." Gray reported Martin, through a flurry of expletives, said, " 'There's absolutely no way any of these fans are going to talk to me in that manner. There's no way they can say what they want to say to me without them suffering some kind of a consequence.' "

When asked about those comments by Gray, Vandeweghe on Friday did not consider them related to the alleged event that occurred during the game.

According to a witness, an altercation started after a friend of Martin threatened a fan sitting several rows behind the bench. The man allegedly yelled, "Suit up, you chump," at Martin, who joined the Nuggets in 2004 and is in the midst of a seven-year, $92.5 million contract.

After sitting out against Chicago, Martin has returned to average 28 points the past two games. After he scored 34 Friday against Dallas, Martin had a run-in with a radio reporter.

Obscenities were exchanged. The reporter was removed from the locker room by Nuggets personnel, and the reporter's press credential has been revoked.

"Kenyon wears his emotions on his sleeve," Nuggets coach George Karl said of the situation surrounding Martin last week. "Sometimes I probably still do it, too. I don't know what (happened). I support Kenyon and I support the league. The league is trying to police and control actions (of players). This (the fine) will probably be good for (Martin)."

Jackson said it isn't just the league office trying to police actions. He said all NBA personnel have a "vested interest" in holding those in the league to "a certain standard."

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