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 He had two technicals from earlier in the season rescinded by the league earlier in the day.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
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