Greek court releases Serbia’s Nenad Krstic after night in custody following basketball brawl

Friday, August 20, 2010

Serbia’s Krstic released after basketball brawl

ATHENS, Greece — Serbia’s Nenad Krstic was released Friday after being held in police custody overnight following a brawl during a game against Greece.

The last game of the Acropolis tournament was abandoned with 2:40 to go and Greece leading 74-73 when the fight broke out.

A stunned crowd of about 5,000 at the Athens Olympic Arena watched players from both teams exchange punches and kicks. Two or three spectators entered the fray and were quickly shoved out of the arena.

Krstic, who played for the NBA’s Oklahoma City Thunder last season, grabbed Greece forward Antonis Fotsis by the throat and threw a chair toward Sofoklis Schortsanitis, who was pursuing him. The chair hit Yannis Bouroussis, who had not played in the game because of a hand injury, and left him with blood trickling from a wound on the side of his head.

The fight began when Fotsis had moved against Serbia guard Milos Teodosic, who had fouled him.

The players continued fighting in the tunnel leading from the arena to the locker rooms before eventually being separated.

Prosecutor Costas Simitzoglou released Krstic pending an investigation into the brawl. Investigators from Greece’s sports violence squad will examine video footage of the game and take statements from witnesses before deciding whether to bring charges.

Krstic returned to his hotel after being released and was due to leave Athens for Belgrade later on Friday, said Darko Ninkov of the Serb Embassy in Athens.

The brawl comes a week before the basketball world championships open in Turkey on Aug. 28. Both Serbia and Greece are scheduled to play in the tournament, although they are in separate groups for the preliminary round.

Serbia will be in Group A and Greece is in Group C. The United States is in Group B.

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