In the latest chapter of a controversial career, 6'11" Detroit Pistons forward Charlie Villanueva was ejected for a harsh foul on 5'9" point guard Isaiah Thomas.
During the second quarter of a game between the Pistons and Sacramento Kings on Tuesday, Thomas took it to the rack off of the dribble. When the undersized point guard rose up for a finish, Villanueva extended his elbow and knocked Thomas to the ground.
There was no play on the ball.
Matt Dery of CBS Detroit offered analysis on the play.
Charlie V floors Isiah Thomas after the shotclock buzzer.Thomas gets up and goes back at him, an almost-swing.Refs looking at it.— Matt Dery (@deryNBA) January 2, 2013
Villanueva was ejected. Thomas remained in the game despite a fiery response. After the foul, Thomas instantly jumped to his feet and got in Villanueva's face. Fortunately, one teammate ran at full speed from the three-point line to split the two apart: DeMarcus Cousins.
When Cousins first began his full-on sprint toward the action, the instant fear was that he was going to be involved in the violence. Fortunately, DMC displayed an understanding of what was at stake.
Under two weeks after Cousins was suspended for unprofessional behavior, he displayed good character on this play.
Had Thomas and Villanueva traded blows, both would have been suspended for multiple games. Instead, Cousins limited the penalization to one side and kept Thomas, a team leader, out of harm's way.
Well, any more harm than Villanueva had already done.