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Shaun Livingston And Ref Courtney Kirkland Each Earned A Suspension For Bumping Heads


Shaun Livingston was ejected from Sunday night’s Warriors-Heat game after he made contact with referee Courtney Kirkland while arguing a call. The mini-headbutt/bumping of heads between the two led many to assume a suspension was coming for Livingston, as the NBA does not take kindly to contact with officials.

That is the case, but Kirkland isn’t being absolved of fault in the incident by the league. Kirkland stepped towards Livingston leading to the two making contact and the NBA has determined that is worthy of a suspension as well.

On Monday, the NBA announced Livingston would be suspended for one game for his actions, missing Golden State’s game against the Pelicans on Monday, while Kirkland would be held out of the NBA’s officiating rotation for one week for escalating the matter.

NBA Official Courtney Kirkland has been removed from the league’s officiating rotation for one week and Golden State Warriors guard Shaun Livingston hasbeen suspended one game without pay for their roles in an on-court altercation, it was announced today by Kiki VanDeWeghe, Executive Vice President, Basketball Operations.


The NBA went on to cite a review of the video from the incident showing Kirkland stepping towards Livingston as being evidence of shared fault for the contact, resulting in his suspension.

As part of the incident, Livingston and Kirkland bumped heads, and Livingston was assessed a technical foul and ejected for making contact with a game official. Upon league office review, it was determined that Kirkland moved toward Livingston and shared responsibility for the contact that occurred.

It’s rare to see an official earn a suspension for an interaction with a player, but in this case both parties were deemed to be at fault and the league, which regularly sides with the officials, is offering a balanced punishment.

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