But Bell also got into it with Salah Mejri.
Their bickering continued into interviews after the game.
Chris Haynes of ESPN:
Mejri, via Def Pen:
“He called me the N-word and I was not happy about it,” Mejri told Def Pen Hoops. “I told the referee, ‘Hey, he can’t call me that.’ I don’t want to be called that word. I don’t think it’s a big deal, but for real, I don’t know the kid, I don’t know his name, I don’t know his number. The only thing I remember is the dunk he made against us [in October], but he can do whatever he wants. Backboard, behind-the-back, throw it to the fans, he can do whatever he wants. We’re playing basketball.”
“I’m cool with the physicality,” Mejri told Def Pen Hoops. “I’m a big guy. I’m going to play physical because that’s how I make my money, but don’t call me the N-word three times. I literally told him, ‘I’m cool with the physicality, but I don’t want nobody to disrespect me.’ Then he said he didn’t say it, and if he did, he would have done something about it.”
“I don’t know him,” Mejri said. “At least he knows my jersey number, but I don’t know him. I don’t know him. I’m not trying to be silly, I’m serious. I don’t know who he is, for real. The only Jordan who plays basketball that I know is Michael Jordan.”
Bell is African-American. Mejri is Tunisian.
If Bell uses the n-word casually with people he knows, I’m certainly not going to object. But if Mejri is legitimately offended, it’d be reasonable of Bell to accommodate him.
That said, Mejri is an agitator himself. He’s in no position to scold someone else for trying to get under an opponent’s skin.