The Golden State Warriors have had an eventful Sunday in Miami. First, Kevin Durant spent a few minutes expressing his love for Dion Waiters. Then, the lights went out during shootaround, forcing Golden State to practice in the dark. Now, Shaun Livingston has been ejected for headbutting an official.
With the game tied at 44 and 6:28 remaining in the second quarter, Livingston pulled up for a baseline jumper. Livingston missed, but thought he was fouled, and quickly approached the official to make his case.
The exchange started out like your typical NBA players complains about a no-call argument, but when referee Courtney Kirkland tried to remove himself from the confrontation, Livingston held his ground, and the result was this awkward headbutt move you that you could probably place some blame on both parties. Of course, Livingston is the player, Kirkland is the official, so, you know who the NBA is going to back here.
At first glance, the initial replay didn’t look like a lot of contact was made between Kirkland and Livingston. In fact, you could probably question why Kirkland kept walking in Livingston’s direction. With that being said, the second angle does a better job showing what actually happened here, and it doesn’t look good for Livingston’s defense.
You can clearly see that Livingston was the aggressor with regard to the head contact. Kirkland leaned into it, and lingered there for a second, but it was Livingston who made the first move with his head. With that second replay, you could make a pretty solid case that Livingston will miss a game or two for this, as the NBA does not take making contact with an official lightly.