Johnson is banned for three games

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The Independent Online

Earvin "Magic" Johnson was suspended for three games and fined pounds 6,600 by the National Association yesterday for bumping an official during the Los Angeles Lakers' game with the Phoenix Suns on Sunday.

Johnson said after the 118-114 home victory over the Suns that the contact with the referee, Scott Foster, was accidental. But yesterday he accepted his punishment.

"I accept the league's fine and suspension and I want all the fans, the media and everyone associated with the Lakers to know that my actions were unprofessional and wrong," a contrite Johnson said.

"I apologise to Scott Foster, to all the NBA referees and to the league, and I hope they know, as I do, that the incident was accidental and that I respect their professionalism in what is a very difficult job."

Johnson who recently criticised his team-mates for irresponsible behaviour, missed last night's game at Dallas and will sit out the games at San Antonio on Thursday and at home against Minnesota on Saturday. He will be eligible to play again in the final game of the regular season, at Portland on Sunday.