Russell Westbrook did not believe he should have been ejected from Friday night's game against the Atlanta Hawks and neither did head coach Scott Brooks. His first technical was understandable after he and Rajon Rondo argued and then approached each other. But the second technical, both Westbrook and Brooks thought was a common foul.
Regardless of that, Westbrook was contrite after the loss - the fourth straight for the Wizards - and described his ejection as a lapse in judgment on his part.
"S---, I mean honestly it’s more on me. I can’t allow myself just to stoop down to anybody’s level," Westbrook said.
"That’s not my character or who I am. I’ve gotta be better regardless of trash talk and what things are said. [The refs] told me to control myself. I can control my own emotions."
Westbrook and Rondo have some history, sort of. Rondo's brother was ejected from a game during the restart bubble in Orlando for trash-talking Westbrook from the stands.
Whether that had anything to do with this is unclear, but clearly the refs were on high alert after the two players were handed double technicals for their exchange in the first half.
After that, all it took was a slight shove from Westbrook during an offensive play to get his second technical. Rondo then waved goodbye before he shot a free throw as Westbrook departed for the locker room.
"I thought Russell’s [technical], his last one, should have been just a foul," Brooks said. "I could see the game was getting a little chippy, but if you’re gonna call that, you might as well call them earlier in the game."
Referee crew chief Mark Ayotte referred to the second technical as a "physical taunt" to pool reporter Fred Katz of the Athletic. Westbrook was the second Wizards player to get tossed, joining Robin Lopez, and Rondo was later ejected as well.
The Wizards had five technicals as a team. All in all, it was another frustrating night as they fell to 3-12 on the season.