Houston Rockets rookie Montrezl Harrell is on a D-League assignment with the Rio Grande Valley Vipers, and got into an altercation with the Bakersfield Jam’s Derek Cooke Jr on Saturday night. Well, referee Jason Goldenberg was trying to break up the skirmish, and Harrell shoved Goldenberg to the ground.
Here’s video of the scene:
The National Basketball Referees Association released a statement on Monday regarding the incident, saying that Harrell “committed a deliberate assault and battery” against Goldenberg:
“After carefully reviewing videotape and related evidence concerning this incident, we have reached the inescapable conclusion that Harrell committed a deliberate assault and battery against Referee Goldenberg. Anything less than a multiple game suspension would constitute a green light for violence against officials,” said Lee Seham, NBRA general counsel.
Referring to the incident as a”deliberate assault” from Harrell is a bit much, but the bottom line is that he indeed shoved a ref, accidental or not. So, a suspension is definitely coming, but it will be interesting to see how many games it’s for.
The 6’8″ Harrell won a National Championship with the Louisville Cardinals as a freshman in 2013, and was selected by the Rockets in the second round (32nd overall pick) of the 2015 NBA Draft. Harrell has averaged 3.6 points and 9.7 minutes in 38 games played with the Rockets this season.