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Anthony Will Not Appeal 15-Game Ban
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Denver's National Basketball Association scoring leader Carmelo Anthony will not appeal his 15-game suspension, his agent told ESPN on Thursday.

The sports television network reported on its website that Bill Duffy said Anthony does not want to be more of a distraction than he has been already for throwing a punch during a late-game melee in a victory on Saturday at New York.

NBA commisioner David Stern handed down several suspensions on Monday but the biggest ban of all went to Anthony, whose punch reignited tensions after the incident appeared to have quietened down.

"It's Melo's wish to just keep the focus on basketball," Duffy said.

"In his words, he's just going to take (the ban) and keep the focus on keeping himself ready."

NBA rules permit any player to appeal a suspension of longer than 12 games to an arbitrator.

The Nuggets' game here on Wednesday was postponed by a blizzard so Anthony's projected return date is now January 22 when Memphis visits.

Should the postponed game against Phoenix be rescheduled between now and then, his return would be two days earlier when Houston visits.

The Denver Post reported that Nuggets swingman J.R. Smith has made an appeal over his 10-game ban, but that appeal will be heard by Stern, who is seen as less likely to shorten the suspension he imposed.

(China Daily December 23, 2006)

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