Oklahoma City Thunder forward Carmelo Anthony was ejected for a flagrant foul 2 in the third quarter of the Thunder’s loss to the Portland Trail Blazers on Sunday, and Anthony is still confused about how things went down.
“I don’t have no thoughts,” Anthony said after the game (h/t ESPN). “I don’t have anything to say about that play. I think the league will do what’s right.”
Anthony was ejected following a review of an and-1 layup that he converted over Portland’s Jusuf Nurkic after Anthony made contact with Nurkic’s chin with his elbow during his conversion.
“I’ve never seen in the history of the game a guy get an and-1 play and then get ejected from the game,” Thunder coach Billy Donovan said of the ejection. “That’s probably something you’ve got to talk to the league about.”
The refs stood by their decision, even though the definition of the rule and what everyone saw transpire on the court didn’t exactly match-up.
“We deemed that the contact was excessive and that it was not a natural basketball move, where he seeks out Nurkic, hits him in the face with an elbow and goes back to the basket,” crew chief Rodney Mott said.
“So because it’s unnatural and it’s deemed excessive, therefore it is a flagrant foul penalty 2.”
“It’s nonsense, man,” Thunder guard Russell Westbrook said of Anthony’s ejection. “It don’t make any sense.”
“I thought that play should’ve been reviewed,” Donovan said. “It may have proven nothing, but I think when someone gets hit in the face and goes down to the floor and you’ve got to call timeout, you should at least review it, just to make sure. I don’t know why they reviewed the other one.
“I probably didn’t ask Russell to stay down on the court long enough to get it reviewed.”
Anthony was hit with his first technical of the game for arguing with the refs after Westbrook was on the receiving end of a hit.
“I didn’t say anything wrong. I think there was just a lot of hostility tonight,” Anthony said. “I didn’t use any profanity. I didn’t yell. Actually, I think I had a smile on my face. I don’t know. I wanted them to just officiate the game the right way, whether it was going with us or going with them — just officiate the game the right way, that was my point. Make it even, make it right, but officiate the game the right way.”
Westbrook was critical of the refs after being hit with a flagrant 1 on Friday against the Boston Celtics.
“I got hit in the face. They didn’t review it as they should,” Westbrook said. “I just think that when it’s us, our team, myself, they don’t do the same thing they do. Last game, tipped ball, against Celtics, I accidentally hit the guy in the face. Flagrant foul on me. It was an accident, but I hit him. I actually got hit in the face today. Nobody looks at it. Melo goes, hits Nurkic. They go review. It’s a bunch of bulls—.”
“I just think they don’t referee the same way all the time,” Westbrook continued.
“They pick and choose when they want to do it, which is not fair, in my opinion. I’ve been in this league for a while, and I’m able to see it and understand it and see what’s right or what’s wrong, but I can see it’s blatant, s— that’s not getting looked at, in my opinion. Get hit, you need to look at it. You look at everything else, you need to take a look at it.”
Donovan pointed to foul shot differential when continuing the discussion about the officiating.
“What’s more concerning to me is our opponents have gotten to the free throw line 50 more times than we have,” Donovan said.
“And we’ve got a player in Russell who clearly, historically in this league, has gotten to the free throw line as much or if not more than anybody else in this league.”
“We haven’t been getting the benefit. Every night, we haven’t been getting the benefit of the doubt,” Thunder forward Paul George said.
“I don’t know what it is, especially for Russ. He attacks the basket, and so many of his plays at the rim are questionable, and he’s not getting the benefit of the doubt.”
Thunder Asking Price Steep for Steven Adams
As the Oklahoma City Thunder look to create some cap relief, they are shopping big man Steven Adams, but don’t seem to be finding any takers.
According to Matt George of 1140 KHTK, Oklahoma City’s asking price for Adams is viewed as “too high.”
Moving Adams won’t be easy as he is owed more than $53 million for the next two seasons in his contract.
Adams is coming off a season in which he scored 13.9 points per game, 9.5 rebounds, and 1.6 assists for the Thunder last season.
Thunder Shopping Steven Adams, Andre Roberson, Dennis Schroder, 21st Pick
The Oklahoma City Thunder are shopping a ton of assets in an effort to clear some salary space.
According to Sports Illustrated’s Jake Fischer, the Thunder are making center Steven Adams, Andre Roberson and point guard Dennis Schroder available, in addition with the 21st pick in the draft, in an effort to shed salary.
Oklahoma City currently has nearly $140 million guaranteed for the 2019-20 season, above the luxury tax threshold.
Blazers’ Damian Lillard Discusses Game Winning Shot
In the ultimate last work towards the trash talking Oklahoma City Thunder, Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard hit a ridiculous, buzzer-beating 3-point shot to eliminate the Thunder on Tuesday.
The shot will live on for an eternity and Lillard took time to discuss the dagger that sent the talking Russell Westbrook and his team packing.
“I was blanking out,” Lillard said, according to Jason Quick of The Athletic. “I was having my own thoughts. I was … angry. Not that type of anger like I was mad, but anger like I was in a rage.”
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