Russell Westbrook Fined $10,000, Not Suspended for Rudy Gobert Altercation

Tyler Conway@jtylerconwayFeatured ColumnistApril 24, 2018

Oklahoma City Thunder guard Russell Westbrook (0) sits on the bench before the start of Game 4 of an NBA basketball first-round playoff series against the Utah Jazz Monday, April 23, 2018, in Salt Lake City. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)
Rick Bowmer/Associated Press

The NBA announced Oklahoma City Thunder guard Russell Westbrook will not be suspended for Game 5 of his team's first-round series against the Utah Jazz after he left the designated area during an altercation late in Monday night's Game 4 loss.

However, he was fined $10,000 and assessed a technical foul for his role in the altercation with Rudy Gobert, per Royce Young of ESPN.com.

The league clearly determined a referee had checked Westbrook into the game when Raymond Felton and Gobert started an on-court shouting match following a hard Felton foul. Steven Adams, who was also slated to check into the game, did not leave the area to go toward the altercation.

In most cases, leaving the bench results in an automatic one-game suspension—a rule that has been in place since the aftermath of the Malice at the Palace. However, there was some murkiness with this particular situation because Westbrook was due to enter the game at the next dead ball.

Felton and Gobert didn't start their fracas immediately after the foul, so there was some question as to whether Westbrook had checked into the game. If he did, a suspension would not have been warranted.

Westbrook told reporters he heard the horn to allow him into the game.

"I was already in the game," Westbrook said. "Once I was in the game, they told me to wait because they were going to review it. Once they did that, the altercation happened, so I was already on the floor."

Westbrook is averaging 21.3 points, 11.8 rebounds and 8.3 assists while shooting 36.7 percent from the floor through the first four games of the series. The Jazz hold a 3-1 lead and can close things out in Oklahoma City on Wednesday night. 

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