DENVER: The price of principle for Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf is $31,707 per game. That's how much the Denver Nuggets guard is losing after being suspended by the NBA without pay for violating a league rule that requires players to "stand and line up in a dignified posture" during the national anthem. Abdul-Rauf, a devout Muslim, said he doesn't believe in standing for any nationalistic ideology. "My beliefs are more important than anything. If I have to give up basketball, I will," Abdul-Rauf said. "This country has a long history of (oppression). You can't be for God and for oppression. It's clear in the Koran, Islam is the only way. I don't criticize those who stand, so don't criticize me for sitting." Abdul-Rauf has stayed in the locker room during the anthem and then joined his teammates on the bench just before tipoff. Most players supported his decision. "I hope he sticks with his conviction," Phoenix Sun A.C. Green said. "This game is nothing but a job. This is not life. You have to have convictions and principles in life. If this is what his beliefs tell him to do, I'm all for him."