Every year, the National Basketball Association sets a whole day aside for the celebration of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day with a handful of exciting NBA basketball. Dr. King’s legacy continues to affect our current political view.
The NBA has a king of its own in Cavaliers’ LeBron James, and he spoke about how America has to stand United.
America would mean the NBA Athletes too right? Well, it doesn’t seem like many people were united on MLK day during the games. There were a total of 11 NBA games played, and many of them had some sort of altercation between players, coaches, and officials.
List of Games With Altercations With Final Score:
- Philadelphia 76ers (117-111) Toronto Raptors
- Oklahoma City Thunder (95-88) Sacramento Kings
- Los Angeles Clippers (113-102) Houston Rockets
- Orlando Magic (108-102) Minnesota Timberwolves – Tuesday
Altercations Lead to Late Ejections:
The Sixers are becoming a better team than the last place lottery team that we are all used too. It was through the NBA lottery draft where they found their young, talented athletes. “Trust the process, ” as they say. Sixers rookie Ben Simmons, although drafted last year, has played a huge role in the process we were told to trust.
However, Monday afternoon in a game with the Raptors, he got himself ejected because of an altercation after his team blew a 17 point lead.
The Sixers managed to hold on and win the game. That altercation was with Raptors guard Kyle Lowry who was returning from injury.
Lowry and Simmons said enough to each other to get themselves ejected. Lowry told Simmons to meet him in the hallway as the two walked off upon their ejections.
Everyone expected the Thunder to be one of the top teams in the league once they got Carmelo Anthony and Paul George in trades. That would be the case if the two of them and the reigning MVP, Russell Westbrook were on the same page.
Thunder rallied from 15 down to jump to a 14 point lead and avoid losing their fourth straight home loss. But with 2:51 left in the game, Westbrook was hit with two technicals and ejected after he complained about being called for traveling on a play on which he thought he’d been fouled on.
C’mon Brodie, you’re better than that!
It was Chris Paul’s first game back to Los Angeles since he left the Clippers this past season. The Clippers haven’t been the same team as they were with Chris Paul there, but they were looking for a fifth straight win.
The shorthanded Clippers had no problem picking up the victory against the Rockets team who were playing without James Harden. Clippers Lou Williams and Blake Griffin combined for 60 points. Griffin was four assist shy of a triple-double.
That’s not all Griffin was shy of in this game. Griffin ran into Rockets head coach Mike D’Antoni, who thought Griffin did it initially.
Rockets forward Trevor Ariza came after Griffin on the court with physical fouls all night. Ariza was also shouting at multiple players on the Clippers team.
Ariza and Griffin were ultimately ejected from the game.
Rockets were trying to get into the Clippers locker room after the game and several security members and even the LAPD were called, and the league will now be investigating what really happened post game.
Ariza and teammate Gerald Green received a two-game suspension.
Although this wasn’t a game played on MLK day, it deals with a similar altercation.
Orlando Magic guard Arron Afflalo and Minnesota Timberwolves forward Nemanja Bjelica were ejected during the second quarter of Tuesday’s game.
As the two were fighting for position on a shot by Timberwolves guard Jamal Crawford, Afflalo threw a punch at Bjelica that missed. Bjelica progressed to place Afflalo in a headlock before players and referees intervened to separate the two.
Dr. King dedicated his life to love and do justice to fellow human beings. When you have professional athletes fighting and shouting at each other, that doesn’t show anything of what Dr. King stood for.
LeBron James reflected on what MLK Day means, but maybe he needs to talk to these guys in the league and figure out what’s going on. All season long, we have seen issues with the officials and players. James has been involved in many of them too.
Let’s quit the nonsense and get back to playing real basketball and honoring the heroes of America like they should be honored. Fighting among each other isn’t being united. I would love to see the men who put their blood, sweat, and tears into the game of basketball play the best games of their careers, not whine and complain about something other player or coach said, or if it was a foul or not.
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