Much of the talk early in the week around NBA circles was about Carmelo Anthony’s ejection on Sunday night against the Blazers for a Flagrant 2 violation when he hit Jusuf Nurkic in the face with his elbow trying to draw an and-1 call on a layup attempt.
Anthony, the rest of the Thunder, and most NBA fans were stunned at the Flagrant 2 call on the play and immediate ejection. While the contact to Nurkic’s face was understandably within the guidelines for a flagrant foul call, the Flagrant 2 designation seemed to many to be too severe.
After the game, Anthony expressed his frustration with the call and said he felt the league would “do what’s right” when reviewing his ejection. On Wednesday, the league handed down said review of the call and it likely won’t please Carmelo, as they upheld his Flagrant 2, while downgrading a Russell Westbrook Flagrant 1 violation from Tuesday night.
Not only was the Flagrant 2 designation upheld, but Westbrook and Paul George, who each criticized the ejection and officiating in general after the game, were also hit with $15,000 fines each.
The fines should come as little surprise, especially for Westbrook who called out officials for picking and choosing when to enforce calls, as the NBA has long been quick to pull the trigger on fines for speaking out against the officiating. As if the Thunder weren’t already annoyed with a slow start and a lack of calls, this will only further their frustrations with this early NBA season.