Both players defend their right to protest.
The Cleveland Cavaliers might be without two of their starters if the NBA chooses to penalize Kevin Love and Tristan Thompson for their role in the scuffle that erupted with 2.6 remaining on the Game Clock. Tensions were sky high when LeBron James and Steph Curry started jawing at each other. Then Klay Thompson got involved and before long the squabble had turned physical, the turning point: when Tristan Thompson took out his aggression on Draymond Green's face.
Draymond was being his obnoxious self, taunting Cavaliers' guard George Hill. Noticeably upset after being ejected for his part in the disturbance, Tristan Thompson grabbed the game ball and shoved it in his opponent's face. Kevin Love who was not in the lineup when tempers flared, jumped to his feet in defense of his teammates. For that action alone, Kevin may face a one-game suspension.
Tristan Thompson seemed to be reacting to the referee's impartiality. He described his Flagrant 2 foul as a moot point on a dead play. "I contested a shot that shouldn't have been taken," Thompson told reporters. "I mean, it's like the unspoken rule in the NBA: If you're up 10 or 11 with about 20 seconds left, you don't take that shot. I make the contest, and next thing I know, I was being kicked out for a good contest that we learn in training camp. I don't know why I got thrown out."
Kevin Love, for his part, feels it was his obligation to be on the court when the drama unfolded. Love told ESPN, "I was already on the court trying to get the refs' attention before the scuffle." Tune into Game Two on Sunday, it's going to be beauty.