| ||SEATTLE -- Gary Payton and Vernon Maxwell have made up after
a locker-room brawl that left two of their Seattle SuperSonics
"Whenever you go through a thing like Gary and Max went
through, it is over the next day," said center Horace Grant. "Max
and Gary are back on the same page. It's like a relationship and a
marriage, you go through your ups and downs."
The scrap happened Sunday, after a practice session in which
Payton and Maxwell exchanged barbs. It escalated into a fight,
which Grant and Chuck Person helped to end by pulling their
teammates away from each other.
Payton and Maxwell made up before to the Sonics played the San
Antonio Spurs here Monday.
However, Grant sat out Monday night's game with a bruised
shoulder and Person, who was already on the injured list,
aggravated his surgically repaired left knee. The struggling Sonics
fell to the Spurs 90-82, their fourth straight home loss.
The Seattle Post-Intelligencer reported Tuesday that the scene
became so intense in the locker room after Sunday's practice that
Payton picked up a chair and Maxwell went to find a free weight,
presumably to use as a weapon. Both men had to be restrained again
and were escorted from the locker room separately.
The Seattle Times reported Tuesday that Grant's shoulder injury
was due to a weight that was thrown in the altercation. Grant did
not comment on his injury, except to say, "I was a
victim of circumstance."
But Maxwell told ESPN's David Aldridge on Tuesday there was no fight. "We had words," Maxwell said. "That's all that happened. That was basically it. It got a little heated, like we were going to fight, but it never did happen."
The Sonics fined Payton and Maxwell an undisclosed amount for the incident, a source told ESPN on Tuesday. Neither player will be suspended and no further disciplinary action was planned, the source said.
"Both were wrong, and I told them that," Sonics president Wally Walker told the
Post-Intelligencer. "They have to work it out between the two of
them so it doesn't affect the team and staff. If they put the onus
on the team to settle this, they won't like what could happen."
Maxwell, whose locker is next to Payton's, dressed at a
different locker Monday night. On the court, Payton and Maxwell
seemed friendly, exchanging high-fives at different points in the
evening. Neither Sonic would comment on the altercation.
The Sonics have been struggling, with a 13-17 record since Jan.
20. They have not beaten a club with a winning record since Feb.
Grant was expected to play Tuesday night when the Sonics play host to the New
With a 40-30 record and in eighth place in the Western
Conference, coach Paul Westphal hopes the scuffle will motivate the
"I told them that all the prophecies that everybody made about
this team are going to come true if we don't fix it," Westphal
said. "We've taken a lot of steps to prove we're a good team, and
this is not the time to take steps backward. This is the time to
With 12 games remaining, the Sonics trail the Sacramento Kings
by one game for seventh place in the playoff race.
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.
Spurs' towers too much for stumbling Sonics in Seattle