The Denver Nuggets have suspended Carmelo Anthony for one game for an "in-game transgression" Sunday against Indiana.
"There is a code of conduct that we take very seriously, especially from a leader and co-captain," Rex Chapman, vice president of player personnel, said Monday. "Carmelo knows this and regrets what happened. He is a very competitive person and made a poor decision in the heat of the moment. We look forward to having him back on Thursday and will have no further comment at this time."
He did not elaborate on what Anthony did to earn the suspension.
The Denver Post, citing anonymous sources, said Anthony refused to come out of the game in the third quarter when coach George Karl tried to remove him.
Whatever got Anthony in trouble wasn't apparent to reporters sitting courtside at the game, and Nuggets spokesman Eric Sebastian said the team didn't want to disclose the nature of the infraction. He said, however, that it didn't involve Anthony's technical foul after he argued about a non-call on his layup with 5:18 left in the Nuggets' 100-94 loss to the Pacers.
Anthony won't play in the Nuggets' game Tuesday night at Detroit. He will return to the lineup for the Nuggets' game Thursday night against Portland in Denver. The Nuggets lead the Trail Blazers by 1½ games in the highly competitive Northwest Division.
Earlier Monday, the team had said that Anthony was returning to Denver to attend to a personal matter, leading to speculation his departure from Detroit had something to do with his balky knee that's been bothering him for some time.
This is Anthony's second suspension this season, both of them meted out by the team. He sat out the first two games of the season as punishment for his drunken driving arrest last spring while the Nuggets were pushing for a playoff berth.
He was suspended for 15 games in the 2006-07 season for his involvement in the Nuggets' brawl with the New York Knicks when he dropped guard Mardy Collins with a punch on Dec. 16, 2006. Ten players were ejected and seven suspended, with Anthony receiving the stiffest punishment from commissioner David Stern.
Anthony, who helped the Americans win the gold medal at the Beijing Olympics last summer, is averaging a team-high 21.6 points and 7.4 rebounds. But he's missed 15 games already this season: 10 with a broken bone in his right hand that cost him an All-Star bid, three because of a troublesome right elbow and two for the suspension to start the season.
Anthony is the second Denver sports star to get in trouble in the last few days. Broncos Pro Bowl receiver Brandon Marshall got into a fight with his fiance in Atlanta, subjecting himself to a lengthy suspension for repeated violations of the NFL's personal conduct code.