WASHINGTON -- As of Friday afternoon, the Washington Wizards and Kelly Oubre Jr. had not yet heard if there will be any additional punishment for the pushing incident involving him and Boston’s Kelly Olynyk.
The incident occurred with 9:12 left to play in the second quarter. Olynyk was trying to set a screen on Oubre Jr., who tried to go underneath it. Oubre Jr. caught what looked like a blow to the face that sent him tumbling to the floor on the play, which was called an offensive foul against Olynyk.
Olynyk immediately ran towards official Monty McCutchen to plead his case, when Oubre Jr. rose to his feet and sprinted towards Olynyk. McCutchen saw him coming and tried to intervene but Oubre Jr. brushed past McCutchen and pushed Olynyk to the ground.
Players from both teams as well as the officials, made sure the incident didn’t escalate any further.
“I didn’t expect it,” Olynyk told reporters regarding the incident.
The offensive foul against Olynyk was upheld and Oubre Jr. was called for a flagrant-2 personal foul, which is an automatic ejection.
“I talked to my coaches, my teammates, that’s about it about the situation,” Oubre Jr. said after the Wizards’ practice on Friday.
He said there has been a constant message from those around him regarding the incident.
“Move on; it’s in the past,” he said. “Don’t dwell on what’s in the past. I got ejected from the game. People know that’s a big deal. Focus on basketball.”
While that may sound relatively easy to do, it’s hard to escape the images online, in newspapers and broadcast on several networks, CSN included, of him delivering a hard shove that knocked Olynyk to the ground.
Oubre Jr. said he had been hit in the head several times by Olynyk.
“I’ve confronted him about it,” Oubre Jr. said. “The last time it happened, I fell. I felt pain in my head and my jaw. I got up, I ran to him and I bumped him. That’s all that happened.”
Well . . . not exactly.
While that was indeed at the crux of Oubre Jr.’s role in the incident, there was one part he forgot about: The official.
The NBA, maybe more than any of the major professional leagues, is extremely protective of its officials when it comes to on-the-floor incidents.
As Oubre Jr. was charging towards Olynyk, referee Monty McCutchen tried to hold him back but to no avail. If the league deems that act as unnecessary contact with a game official, that alone will get Oubre Jr. a one-game suspension.
When asked if he thought Oubre Jr. should be suspended, Olynyk said, “that’s for other people to decide.”
Oubre Jr. added, “I’m not going out there to maliciously hurt anybody. I’m just trying to go out there and play hard. I’m sure he’s trying to do the same thing. So what happened (in Game 3) is definitely in the past. And I’ve learned my lesson; don’t beeline anybody on the court. It’s in the past. I’m worried about hoops now.”