Rockets’ Montrezl Harrell suspended five games for shoving D-League official

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On Monday night, a fight broke out during a game between the D-League’s Rio Grande Valley Vipers and the Bakersfield Jam, which resulted in RGV forward and Rockets second-round pick Montrezl Harrell shoving an official to the ground. The video (which you can watch above) is pretty clear-cut, and it’s no surprise that the D-League has handed down a stiff suspension. They announced their decision Tuesday afternoon:

The NBA Development League today announced that Montrezl Harrell, a Houston Rockets forward on assignment with the Rio Grande Valley Vipers, has been suspended five games without pay for pushing a game official to the floor during an altercation with Bakersfield Jam forward Derek Cooke Jr.  Cooke Jr. has been suspended one game without pay for pushing Harrell during the incident.

The incidents occurred immediately following the final play of the Jam’s 119-115 victory at State Farm Arena in Hidalgo, Texas on Saturday, March 26.

Harrell will begin his suspension tonight when Rio Grande Valley faces the Oklahoma City Blue at Cox Convention Center.  He is ineligible to be recalled to the Rockets until he has completed the full term of his suspension in the NBA D-League.

Cooke Jr. will serve his suspension tonight when the Jam hosts the Austin Spurs at the Dignity Health Event Center.

If you watch the video, there’s no arguing about whether this suspension is warranted. If anything, it’s a little bit of a surprise the penalty wasn’t harsher. Shoving an official to the ground is unacceptable behavior in any scenario, but it’s an especially bad look for a player like Harrell, who is a second-round pick without a guaranteed roster spot going forward.