Bullets centre Aron Baynes is facing the prospect of a suspension and a fine when he fronts the NBL tribunal on Thursday night for his role in the ugly incidents that marred Brisbane’s three-point loss to Cairns in a spiteful Queensland derby.
The NBL announced on Wednesday afternoon its initial sanctions for incidents involving Baynes, Cairns forward Lat Mayen and Taipans coach Adam Forde in last Saturday’s match at Nissan Arena.
Mayen’s elbow collected the throat of Baynes, with the Olympian needing to be restrained and copping two separate technical fouls after exchanging words with referees.
Baynes and Forde later had a confrontation near the Bullets change-rooms at half-time that was captured on security cameras.
The NBL cleared Forde of any wrongdoing, while Mayen was charged with striking, a charge accompanied by a one-match ban,
However, Mayen accepted an early guilty plea which reduced the sanction to a $1550 fine. He is therefore available for Cairns’ next NBL game on October 26 against Illawarra.
Baynes was sent straight to a single-member NBL tribunal, while the Bullets were also issued an official warning following public comments made about Forde by Brisbane’s senior basketball advisor Stu Lash.
The Bullets trained on Wednesday without Baynes, who was hit with a gastro bug going through the team.
However, ill-health is unlikely to be the issue if the NBA championship-winner doesn’t play on Friday night against the Sydney Kings at Nissan Arena.
“We’re definitely prepping that he will be here but understand that there’s a chance he won’t be,” Bullets coach Schueller said.
“Until the NBL makes a decision we’ll just keep forging forward.
“We would like to (already) know (about Baynes’ fate) but we also understand there’s a process, so it’s not for me to tell people how to do their jobs, or how to speed things up, but what we do want is an outcome.”
The Bullets are unlikely to appeal any potential sanctions against Baynes, with Schueller saying the player and the club would learn from the incidents.
“We don’t condone how Aron handled the moment. He doesn’t himself in hindsight,” he said.
“It is a frustrating one but it’s a lesson. There are no regrets, it’s all lessons, so we know we can handle that situation better as a collective and as a team to get around the moment.
“For me it’s always about the well being of our athletes, and if they are OK.
“For us it’s an incident in a basketball game that’s happened time and time again. Obviously he was frustrated with how the officials initially handled it and then everything after that is what it is, but … we’re a tight knit group. We’re about constantly moving forward.”