Thon Maker says he was just trying to protect self, teammates in FIBA brawl

Thon Maker said in a statement released Thursday that he disagrees with FIBA's decision to suspend him for three international games because he was trying to protect himself and his teammates "without the adequate help from security" in the wild brawl earlier this month during a FIBA World Cup Asian qualifier between Australia and the Philippines.

Maker tweeted the statement after FIBA handed out its discipline to both teams, suspending and fining 13 players and two coaches from the two teams.

Maker, who plays for Australia, launched into a scrum of players who were wrestling near one of the baskets in the July 3 game before turning, running at an opposing Philippines player and attempting to kick him. Maker then retreated toward midcourt.

Maker said he has a new appreciation for security personnel after the incident. He said he would like to focus now on his preparation for the NBA season with the Milwaukee Bucks.