What are the Oklahoma City Thunder going to do now?
Russell Westbrook is still a few weeks away from returning after undergoing arthroscopic knee surgery, and now, the Thunder will be down Hasheem Thabeet for an entire game. Oh, the horror.
According to Yahoo! Sports' Marc J. Spears, Oklahoma City's center has been suspended for one regular-season game without pay for headbutting the New Orleans Pelicans' Greg Stiemsma.
Video of the incident can be seen below:
Thabeet blatantly headbutts Stiemsa after a brisk shoving match between the two—in a preseason game. This wasn't the NBA Finals or even a regular-season contest that actually mattered; it was an exhibition game.
Stop by any playground concours or dollar-beer night at your local bowling alley, and you'll see competition never dies. Even when the outcomes don't matter, mentally, they still do.
Cracking skulls late in the first half of a preseason bout is bizarre behavior, though. I know the undefeated Pelicans have emerged as kings of the preseason, but damn.
Stiemsma appeared to take exception to Thabeet's handsy defense, at which point the bar-room shoving began. But it didn't take long until the situation escalated and Stiemsma's forehead felt the fury of the 7'3" Thabeet.
Disappointing displays have become something of Thabeet's bedfellow. After being selected second overall by the Memphis Grizzlies in 2009, he's failed to live up to expectations and has instead bounced around the NBA; Oklahoma City is his fourth team.
Thabeet spent all of last season with the Thunder, appearing in 66 games and averaging 2.4 points and three rebounds. While he's the tallest player in the Association, he doesn't figure to be an integral part of Oklahoma City's rotation. His absence will barely have an impact, if he's missed at all.
Worst-case scenario, the Thunder have Kendrick Perkins play the part of a disgruntled, mostly pointless enforcer.