Rockets rookie forward Montrezl Harrell, who was recently re-assigned to the Houston D-League affiliate Rio Grande Valley Vipers, is now facing a 5-game suspension without pay after he shoved a referee to the court in a recent game.
Montrezl Harrell suspended 5 games w/out pay for shoving referee to the floor in a D-League game. pic.twitter.com/dK2zixfVRL— Howard Beck (@HowardBeck) March 29, 2016
Harrell got in a minor scuffle with a player from an opposing team, and when referee Jason Goldberg stepped in between them in an attempt to break up the skirmish, Harrell shoved Goldberg with enough force to send the ref down on the ground relatively hard.
The NBA Referee's Association released a statement urging for a suspension, according to ESPN's Calvin Watkins, and the league obliged:
"Harrell committed a deliberate assault and battery against referee Goldberg. Anything less than a multiple game suspension would constitute a green light for violence against officials."
This is not a good look for the rookie big man, and it looks even worse now that the video clip of the incident has been released.
Unfortunately for Harrell, he doesn't have much of a recourse after such an egregious offense, and with the league obviously very sensitive to these types of incidents, Harrell is lucky the suspension is only 5 games.
The Vipers have three regular season games remaining and have already clinched the D-League playoffs, so Harrell will be required to miss the first two games of the postseason as well.
Come on, rook. We all love your passion-- it's part of what makes you-- but you got to be smarter than that.