Rockets’ Montrezl Harrell pushes down referee in D-League game

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Rockets forward Montrezl Harrell, on assignment in the  D-League, got into a skirmish at the end of Saturday’s Rio Grande Valley Vipers-Bakersfield Jam game.

This rises above a typical minor-league altercation, because a referee took a shove.

National Basketball Referees Association:

The NBRA released a statement concerning the floor altercation culminating in Rio Grande Valley player Montrezl Harrell forcefully shoving Referee Jason Goldenberg to the ground during a game with Bakersfield on March 26, 2016.

“After carefully reviewing videotape and related evidence concerning this incident, we have reached the inescapable conclusion that Harrell committed a deliberate assault and battery against Referee Goldenberg. Anything less than a multiple game suspension would constitute a green light for violence against officials,” said Lee Seham, NBRA general counsel.

I doubt Harrell targeted the referee. It’s much more likely he just wanted to get to Jam forward Derek Cooke Jr. and would’ve pushed anyone in his way.

That said, Harrell still deserves punishment for pushing a ref. Not targeting referees is not enough. Players must restrain themselves from becoming so heated, they don’t control whether or not they push a ref.

The only question: Does the D-League and/or the NBA suspended Harrell?