Oklahoma City Thunder guard Russell Westbrook has been frustrated with referees a fair amount this season, but this was most likely an accident.
Westbrook accidentally drilled referee Tre Maddox in the head with an errant pass during a dead ball in the first quarter of the Thunder's 123–112 loss to the Charlotte Hornets on Wednesday while lead official Sean Corbin was not looking. He is the NBA’s assist leader, and not everyone has eyes in the back of their skull.
"I'm not the type of guy ... I would never, ever disrespect the game like that and throw the ball at the referee," Westbrook said. "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."
Westbrook, who finished with 33 points, 15 rebounds and eight assists in the game, received a technical foul.
- Jeremy Woo and Scooby Axson