AUBURN HILLS, Mich. -- Karl Malone will not be charged in a confrontation with a fan who said the Lakers' forward poked him in the face before Game 3
of the NBA Finals.
Oakland County Prosecutor David Gorcyca said Monday that Malone did put a finger on Happy Asker's cheek, but it was "de minimis" -- a legal term
meaning minor or technical -- and therefore did not warrant prosecution.
"All Mr. Malone has to worry about now is guarding Ben and Rasheed Wallace," Gorcyca said.
In a dispute shown repeatedly on national television, Asker was at the edge of the court during Los Angeles' layup drill before Thursday night's game,
won by the Detroit Pistons 88-68.
Asker, 28, of Southfield heckled and swore at Malone before the player responded and poked at him, Gorcyca said.
The prosecutor also said that Asker, who attended the game with his brother, Diah Asker, 31, of San Diego, claimed to have paid a ticket scalper
$25,000 for a pair of tickets to the game. Gorcyca noted that buying the scalped tickets was illegal and therefore the men's presence in The Palace
The brothers also violated trespassing laws and an Auburn Hills ordinance by coming onto the playing floor, Gorcyca said.
Malone, a 19-year NBA veteran and the league's second-leading career scorer, said last week that Asker spit in his face while heckling him.
"He was really out of line," Malone said. "Just because you buy a ticket doesn't mean you should be able to get on the court and degrade somebody."