With his team up by seven and more than five minutes remaining in the first half in Wednesday night’s game, Oklahoma City Thunder guard Russell Westbrook committed a hard foul on the Miami Heat’s LeBron James. Because of how blatantly not-going-for-the-ball Westbrook’s act was, and the high likelihood of injuries that’s there when defensive players do these sort of things, he got called for a flagrant-one.
Was that enough, though? Or should the league step in and suspend Westbrook for the move? Check the play out for yourselves:
While you never want to condone unnecessarily hard fouls, you almost have to give Westbrook the benefit of the doubt here.
James is much bigger and stronger than he is, and it’s very possible that this was the only way that Westbrook felt like he could stop what was pretty much an unstoppable force. There really didn’t seem to be much malicious intent there, it was just one of those fouls that ends up looking much worse than anyone involved really meant for it to be.