Russell Westbrook Ejected After Scuffles With J.J. Barea (Videos)
Oklahoma City Thunder point guard Russell Westbrook was ejected in the second quarter of Wednesday night’s game against the Dallas Mavericks after picking up a second technical foul for a second altercation with Mavs point guard J.J. Barea.
The first altercation and first technical came with about 5:20 left in the second quarter. Barea fouled Westbrook as he tried to work his way into the paint to take a shot. It wasn’t a hard foul, but Barea’s arms were all over Westrbook, and the two have a history. So Westbrook took exception and started flailing his arms, at which point everyone on the court gathered together for some light pushing and shoving.
Following a seven-minute replay review, officials gave one technical a piece to Westbrook, Barea, and Serge Ibaka, while Charlie Villanueva received two technicals and an automatic ejection for placing his hand on Westbrook’s throat. And those calls were all warranted. However, Westbrook’s second technical four minutes later was unwarranted.
With 1:21 left in the first half, Westbrook brought the ball down the court and Barea reached in and fouled him not once but twice. So Westbrook flung his arm away from Barea—without hitting or pushing him—and walked away. And for that, Russell Westbrook was ejected.
After the game Westbrook refused to answer any questions about the scuffles with Barea or the ejection, replying to all inquiries with a generic “we did a great job tonight.”
Westbrook’s coach and teammates had more to say. Billy Donovan said he did not agree with the second technical, and Kevin Durant concurred.
“I didn’t agree, either,” said Durant. “But after the first skirmish, I guess, they just tried to—you could tell all night, they were calling it a little tight. Barea was arguing with the ref, Coach Carlisle was arguing with the ref to give him a tech. He knew it was going to come after what happened early on. If that whole thing didn’t happen before, that wouldn’t have even been a tech. I guess they had to kind of control the game, but it was unfortunate, and I’ll end it there.”
Hat Tip – [ESPN]