Oklahoma City point guard Russell Westbrook is either at or near the top of multiple statistical categories this season, one of which being technical fouls. Wednesday night during the Thunder’s game against the Hornets in Charlotte, Westbrook picked up his NBA-high 10th technical foul of the season.
And he didn’t pick up the technical by arguing with an official either. With 3:13 remaining in the first quarter Westbrook threw the ball to an official after the Thunder called a timeout. The problem? The official didn’t see the ball, which hit him in the head, coming and responded by assessing Westbrook a technical foul.
Russell Westbrook picks up the technical for hitting the ref with the ball.
Following the game Westbrook discussed the technical foul, saying that he “would never disrespect the game that way.” And crew chief Sean Corbin provided an explanation as to why the technical foul was assessed.
Per the NBA rule book the penalty for the technical foul is a $4,000 fine, which is essentially a drop in the bucket for a player of Westbrook’s salary ($26,540,100 this season). The concern comes with the NBA rule that a player is suspended one game once he is assessed his 16th technical foul of the season, and there’s an additional one-game suspension for every second technical picked up after the 16th.
It should be noted that the league does review technical fouls after games, so this could very well be rescinded.