Two days after Anthony Edwards was charged with two counts of third-degree assault, his attorney challenged the charges on Thursday, calling them "baseless."
Attorney Harvey Steinberg addressed the charges in a statement:
"With the game over, Anthony's exit from the court was partially obstructed by a chair, which he moved and set down three steps later. As video of the incident confirms, Anthony did not swing the chair at anyone and of course did not intend to hurt anyone.
"Despite these innocent facts, the Denver Police Department inexplicably chose to charge Anthony with two counts of misdemeanor assault. Anthony intends to vigorously defend against these baseless charges."
The incident took place at Denver's Ball Arena in the immediate aftermath of Tuesday's Game 5 between the Nuggets and Minnesota Timberwolves. Edwards, a Timberwolves guard, missed a 3-pointer at the buzzer that would have sent the game to a second overtime. The loss eliminated Minnesota from the playoffs.
After the buzzer sounded, Edwards picked up and swung a folding chair from floor-level seats as he ran to the tunnel exiting the floor. He then discarded the chair on the pathway leading up to the tunnel. Multiple cameras recorded the incident from different angles, including NBA TV's broadcast camera. The video below shows Edwards' missed shot, then the chair incident at the 21-second mark.
Anthony Edwards misses the game-tying 3 and running straight to the locker room, as the Minnesota Timberwolves are now officially eliminated from the NBA 2023 Playoffs. With replays. pic.twitter.com/Ei6ozbzjvc
— hoops bot (@hoops_bot) April 26, 2023
Here it is in slow motion:
Another angle shows the incident from the perspective of a fan in the stands:
Edwards appears to pick up the chair from its proper location inside a rope, then swing it before setting it down. A woman is seen ducking out of the way as Edwards swings the chair. It's not clear from the video if the chair made contact with anyone.
Denver police reportedly held up the Timberwolves bus after the game to cite Edwards. DPD's Jay Casillas alleged in a statement to Denver Sports that Edwards struck two women who were working at the arena with the chair. Per the police, both women were injured, but not seriously. No other details of the alleged injuries are known publicly.
Police charged Edwards with two counts of third-degree assault. Each charge is a Class 1 misdemeanor carrying a maximum of 18 months in jail and/or a fine of up to $1,000. The Timberwolves addressed the charges in a statement on Wednesday:
“We are aware of the alleged incident regarding Anthony Edwards following Game 5 in Denver and are in the process of gathering more information. We have no further comment at this moment.”
Edwards has a court date in Denver scheduled for June 9.