Oklahoma City Thunder star Russell Westbrook came to the defense of his teammate, Carmelo Anthony, who was ejected in Sunday’s 103-99 loss to the Trail Blazers, and he’ll likely be paying for it as a result.
Westbrook went on a rant about the NBA’s officials, and used some colorful language in doing so, which will likely lead to him being hit with a fine as a result. That isn’t much of an issue, though, as Westbrook can afford to pay it, being that he signed a $205 million contract extension roughly five weeks ago.
It’s pretty clear what inspired Westbrook’s rant, as Anthony’s ejection in the third quarter of Sunday’s game was questionable at best. Melo was hit with a Flagrant 2 foul for elbowing Jusuf Nurkic while attempting a layup (watch here). It’s rare that we see a player ejected on their own shot attempt as is, but on top of that, Anthony appeared to be fouled on the play after converting the layup, which would’ve given him a three-point play opportunity. Instead, however, he was assessed a Flagrant 2 for his elbow making contact with Nurkic’s face.
Westbrook did not hold back in speaking to reporters about how inconsistent he believes the league’s officials to be. Here’s what he had to say after Sunday’s game, clearly upset about Anthony’s ejection.
“It’s a bunch of bulls— in my opinion,” Westbrook said, in a video provided by Brett Dawson of The Oklahoman. “I just think they don’t referee the same way all the time. They pick and choose when they want to do it, which is not fair in my opinion. I’ve been in this league for awhile and I’m able to see it and understand what’s right and what’s wrong. I can see it’s blatant, s— that’s not getting looked at, in my opinion.”
He then commented on Anthony getting hit with a Flagrant 2 when asked about it.
“It’s nonsense, man,” Westbrook said. “That don’t make any sense. You can’t get kicked out for some nonsense like that.”
Thunder head coach Billy Donovan also spoke about the questionable call, and said he’s never seen a player go from an and-one to an ejection. Frankly, neither have we. That bit of contact from Anthony likely should have resulted in a no-call, allowing the game to play out without interference from the officials. Westbrook clearly didn’t agree with it, and neither did the majority of fans and analysts.