"I ain't perfect, bro. I make mistakes like everybody else."
Russell Westbrook received a technical foul in last night's loss to the Hornets for throwing the ball and hitting referee Tre Maddox in the head, a move which he says was completely unintentional.
After the game, Westbrook explained what happened. Per ESPN:
"I called his name. He turned right at me and then looked away. I don't know," Westbrook said. "I don't know what to tell you, brother. I really don't. I'm not the type of guy ... I would never, ever disrespect the game like that and throw the ball at the referee. I've never done it before. That's just not even heard of in the game before. To get a tech, it's crazy to me. But you take the good with the bad."
The throw came immediately after Westbrook didn't get the foul call he was looking for on consecutive drives the basket, but Westbrook clearly showed that the throw was an accident and later appeared to apologize to Maddox on the floor.
Head official Sean Corbin gave his take on the matter:
"Instead of Russell giving the ball to the nearest official, he throws it in the area where Tre is and Tre's not looking, and the ball hits him in the face," Corbin told a pool reporter after the game. "So that's a technical foul."
Reporters also asked Westbrook about a similar play in Portland earlier this season in which he rifled the ball down the court and nearly hit Damian Lillard in the head. He didn't like that.
"I don't want to hear that shit, man. Come on, man," he said. "I ain't perfect, bro. I make mistakes like everybody else. The ball slipped in Portland. Don't come up with that shit, man. Don't do that."