During the fourth quarter of Monday night’s Thunder-Jazz game, Russell Westbrook got into it with Rudy Gobert after the Frenchman was inadvertently hit in the groin by Raymond Felton. On the surface it doesn’t seem like a big deal given there were like a dozen minor skirmishes throughout the game, but this one might cost Westbrook and the Thunder.
According to Andy Larsen of KSL.com, the NBA is reviewing whether Westbrook should be suspended for leaving the bench area to confront Gobert:
The question: was Westbrook waved on the court by the officials or was he leaving the bench area to participate in an altercation? The latter would be an ejection and a suspension for Game 5.
A pool reporter request to the game officials to ask them about the play was initiated, but the NBA indicated that the officials wouldn’t comment on the matter because it would be reviewed by the league’s disciplinary committee.
For those unaware, the Suns had to deal with this in 2007 when Amar’e Stoudemire and Boris Diaw were suspended for leaving the bench in response to Robert Horry hitting Steve Nash. However, they didn’t get in anyone’s faces so this should be an easy suspension on Westbrook if he wasn’t waved onto the court.
Sidenote: Does the area where players check in count as the “bench”? Could be the loophole the NBA needs to keep Westbrook active!