No Choking Matter

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OAKLAND: Coaching in today's NBA can try men's souls and throats. The Golden State Warriors have indefinitely suspended guard Latrell Sprewell for choking coach P.J. Carlesimo during practice Monday.

The New York Post, citing sources at practice, said Sprewell put a 15-second stranglehold on Carlesimo, saying: "I'm going to kill you. You better get me off this team, or that's what I'm going to do."

Sprewell is known as selfish and as a problem child, an extreme example of today's high-on-salary, low-on-character NBA player (he makes $7.7 million annually), and the team has repeatedly tried, without success, to deal him.

Carlesimo carries his own tag as a coach unable to deal with just that type, having been run out of Portland by a squad nicknamed the "Jailblazers." He has floundered too with the talent-poor Warriors, opening the season at 1-13.

Could six years of losing in Oakland have driven Sprewell over the edge? Or are player-punks like him, spoiled by the NBA's sneaker-contract star system, ruining the league? This much is obvious: If David Stern isn't popping antacids right now, he's just not paying attention.