Russell Westbrook and Nene had a run in earlier in the Thunder/Wizards game Sunday night — Nene blocked a Westbrook shot, talked a lot of smack, walked up to do more and the refs went with the lame double technical.
Then the incident happened late in the fourth quarter — Westbrook recklessly charged into the lane as he is wont to do, Al Harrington stood his ground and got the charge, and Harrington went to the ground with Westbrook over him. Then Nene shoved Westbrook to get him off the top of Harrington, knocking Westbrook down, so Nene could help his teammate up. An angry Westbrook got up and shoved Nene back.
Both got technicals and ejected.
Both can likely expect a league mandated vacation night for this incident (or at least some healthy fines).
Without Westbrook Kevin Durant led a comeback to send the game to overtime, then the Thunder found a way to win 106-105 in OT.
So far, the only substantive accounts of the Matt Barnes-Derek Fisher altercation have come from anonymous sources.
The Knicks coach has deflected questions.
But Barnes is giving his account, at least of the lead-up.
Ramona Shelburne of ESPN:
It’s completely understandable that Barnes would act to ensure his children’s welfare.
And let’s say everything he said is true. It still leaves important questions unanswered.
Did Barnes – as he reportedly texted a friend he did – beat up Fisher and spit on his estranged wife, Gloria Govan? If so, why did Barnes deem that necessary to protect kids?
Gregg Popovich said he wouldn’t coach in July.
Apparently, he’s taking off part of October, too.
Marc J. Spears of Yahoo Sports:
It’s not that surprising to see Tim Duncan, Tony Parker, Manu Ginobili and Boris Diaw staying home. Veterans miss preseason games all the time just to rest. With the Spurs, it happens even in the regular season.
But it’s still a little strange to see the head coach sit out, even though Popovich also did it last year.
It makes sense, though. Who cares about this preseason game? If travelling less helps the 66-year-old Popovich stay fresh in the years ahead, that’s well worth it. Plus, it gets Messina a little extra experience. Some day, he might be the head coach.