Russell Westbrook was ejected in the second quarter of last night’s 108-89 win over the Dallas Mavericks. Within a four-minute window, Russell Westbrook picked up two technical fouls, both for scuffling Mavs guard, J.J. Barea. The first tussle ended with Charlie Villanueva of the Dallas Mavericks being ejected for grabbing Westbrook by the throat.
ESPN reported that the first skirmish between the two sparked after Barea was called for a foul on Russell Westbrook with 5:17 remaining in the second quarter. Both players got tangled up, and that led to pushing and shoving among all 10 players on the court.
Charlie Villanueva aggressively lunged in and grabbed Westbrook’s neck.
The Washington Post reported that only did Villanueva put his hand on Russell Westbrook’s neck, it appeared that he may have done the same to Oklahoma City Thunder forward Serge Ibaka.
When asked about the first altercation in a post-game interview, Barea said, “Nothing extra, though. Just a regular foul, then he threw his arms and went a little crazy after that. I was there. I wasn’t backing down. He started pushing, I started grabbing. He grabbed me and flailed his arms.”
Game officials took seven minutes to review the incident that resulted in Barea, Westbrook, Serge Ibaka each receiving a technical foul. Villanueva received two, consequently getting him automatically ejected from the game.
Villanueva commented on his ejection after the loss.
“I will always stand up for a teammate. That’s just my makeup. I should have controlled it a little bit more, of course, but my emotions got the best of me.”
For some Dallas Maverick fans, the official’s decision to eject Villanueva wasn’t the right one.
@DFWSportsNation Refs getting paid to screw the mavs the last two nights— Micah (22 - 18) (@mcole41) January 14, 2016
Approximately four minutes later, Russell Westbrook picked up a second technical foul, resulting his own automatic ejection. Again, it involved J.J. Barea. This time, the Thunder guard was fouled while pushing the ball upcourt.
Westbrook reacted, swinging his arm out and yelling, “Get the f**k off me, man!”
In reaction to Russell Westbrook’s behavior, fans of the sport were not amused.
Over eight seasons with the Oklahoma City Thunder, this was Westbrook’s fourth game ejection.
However, one particular Russell Westbrook fan ran to his defense with a couple of tweets.
Russell Westbrook declined to discuss the incident after the game. Instead, he answered every interview question with a comment about his team’s performance.
“Oh, man, I thought we did a great job tonight,” Westbrook responded when asked what sparked the altercation. “Good win for us. This Dallas team came in without a lot of their guys, and we did a good job competing.”
Since this was a home game for Oklahoma City, the crowd took every opportunity after that to express its disdain for Barea. The Mavs guard was booed each time he touched the ball and cheered for every shot missed or turnover. J.J. didn’t take the taunting too seriously.
A Thunder fan gave J.J. Barea the ol' "Scoreboard" taunt. "How many rings you got?" Barea replied.— Tim MacMahon (@espn_macmahon) January 14, 2016
After reaching a league high of 17 technical fouls, a mere two weeks ago, Russell Westbrook had vowed that he was “done” picking up technical fouls; he specifically meant arguing with referees, though.
Russell Westbrook finished the game with zero points, seven rebounds, and eight assists.
[Photo by Harry How/Getty Images]