Russell Westbrook has a point, this call made no sense. That doesn’t mean he will be spared writing a check to the league.
In the middle of the third quarter Sunday, Carmelo Anthony attacked the rim, tried to adjust his shot to get around the help defender at the rim in Jusuf Nurkic, and drew a foul. Well, at first. The original call was on Nurkic, but after the referees looked at the video — and it is the in-house referees who have the final say on flagrant fouls — they ejected Anthony for an elbow to the head of Nurkic
This set Russell Westbrook — who had been laid out earlier with a shot to the head where no foul was called — off in his postgame press conference.
Westbrook might as well get out the checkbook now, he’s got a $25K fine coming from the NBA (and he knew that was coming when he vented).
Here is out the lead official explained the call after the game.
Not a “natural basketball move?” He turned his body to get off the shot in the face of a defender protecting the rim — this was not intentional, and it is a basketball move. Call a common foul on Anthony and nobody blinks, even a Flagrant I is possible because of the contact to the head. But an ejection? Come on man.
The league’s Two Minute Report on this one should be interesting.