New York Kobe Bryant was suspended one game without pay by the NBA on Tuesday for striking San Antonio's Manu Ginobili in the face.
With his Los Angeles Lakers in New York to play the Knicks, Bryant requested an "immediate hearing" with the league office to appeal the suspension. But his request was denied because it would have deviated from standard procedure.
"This is not the process that we use at the NBA. Certainly, in theory, given the fact that the Lakers were in New York, we could have heard an appeal. But again, we never have, as it's not part of our process," said Stu Jackson, the league's chief disciplinarian for on-court actions. "He does have the right to an appeal at a later date. If he were to win that appeal, he would get his money back."
Bryant's absence left the Lakers without their leading scorer when they opened an eight-game road trip.
"I've been waiting to play here. It's always been a fun place for me to play here, and I'm surprised. Shocked, by it, actually," Bryant said. "I unintentionally caught Manu Ginobili. What do you say? It's a basketball game. You unintentionally catch people with elbows every once in a while."