Russell Westbrook said following the Oklahoma City Thunder’s 123-112 loss to the Charlotte Hornets on Wednesday that hitting referee Tre Maddox with the basketball was unintentional and that he would “never, ever disrespect the game like that.” With 3:13 left in the first quarter, Westbrook threw the ball at Maddox’s head after the Thunder had called timeout. Maddox turned his head as Westbrook let go of the ball, and it hit the referee in the side of his face.
Westbrook was assessed a technical foul, his 10th of the season. He had two technicals from earlier in the season rescinded by the league earlier in the day. “I called his name. He turned right at me and then looked away. I don’t know,” Westbrook said. “I don’t know what to tell you, brother. I really don’t. I’m not the type of guy … I would never, ever disrespect the game like that and throw the ball at the referee. I’ve never done it before. That’s just not even heard of in the game before. To get a tech, it’s crazy to me. But you take the good with the bad.”
Source: Royce Young of ESPN
Bulls Suspend Bobby Portis 8 Games
The Chicago Bulls have suspended forward Bobby Portis for eight games following his role in a practice altercation that left teammate Nikola Mirotic in the hospital, the team announced Wednesday. Portis will be eligible to return for a Nov. 7 game against Toronto, and will be eligible to practice during his extension.
Source: Chicago Bulls
Joel Embiid Not Happy With Early Minutes Restriction
The Philadelphia 76ers will be cautious with Joel Embiid early on this season, and the star center isn’t thrilled with that plan.
Sixers coach Brett Brown, when asked how much Embiid would play in Wednesday’s season opener against the Wizards, told reporters that he didn’t have a set number of minutes in mind before acknowledging “somewhere like in the teens.” “That’s f—ing bulls—. I wish I was playing more minutes,” Embiid told reporters on Tuesday. “I think I’m ready. I think I’m ready for more than whatever number they have. I don’t know. I wish I was playing more, but we’re going to see how that goes.”
Report: Bulls’ Mirotic, Portis Involved in Serious Practice Altercation
Chicago Bulls forwards Nikola Mirotic and Bobby Portis engaged in a physical altercation in practice Tuesday that resulted in Mirotic being hospitalized and sidelined indefinitely, league sources told Yahoo Sports.
Mirotic was taken to the hospital Tuesday after their shoving altercation during practice ended with an alleged cheap shot from Portis to Mirotic’s face, league sources told The Vertical.
In practice scuffle with Bobby Portis in Bulls practice, Nikola Mirotic suffered a fractured bone in his face, league source tells ESPN.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) October 17, 2017
Source: Shams Charania of The Vertical