Houston star Westbrook says he's unfairly branded 'bad guy'


Los Angeles (AFP)

Houston star Russell Westbrook, ejected after receiving a second technical foul in the Rockets' blowout win over the Golden State Warriors Thursday, says he's being unfairly labeled "the bad guy" in situations in which other players go unpunished.

Westbrook, who had picked up his first technical foul of the game in the first quarter, was handed a second and tossed late in the fourth.

After Westbrook appeared to elbow Golden State's Damion Lee, game officials were reviewing video of the incident when the Warriors' Juan Toscano-Anderson plucked the ball out of Westbrook's hands.

Before long Westbrook was exchanging words with players on the Warriors bench and as cooler heads moved to intervene officials confirmed the second technical that ended Westbrook's night and took his tally of techs for the season to a league-leading 13.

"I think with the refs, the fans, media, the NBA (is) put in a position now where I'm not really allowed to do much," Westbrook said.

"Obviously, I'm an emotional guy, but if you watched the clip, obviously, I hit Lee, but it wasn't on purpose. I'm going to the glass, he got hit, he said something to me, I said something to him.

"I'm standing there. The guy snatched the ball out of my hand. Guys are coming up to me. I didn't move. But I'm always the one that gets painted to be the bad guy in the whole situation."

Westbrook said plenty of other players -- including jawing Warriors players -- were at fault in the incident.

"I just think it's unfair that after all that, I'm the only one that gets a tech or kicked out," he said.

"That's not fair. It's so many other people involved in it that are doing so many things that weren't OK, but I'm the one that gets the tech, gets ejected, and then everybody else is cool, and goes back and play."