We have a leader in the clubhouse for the worst call of the NBA season, and it’s one that probably won’t be usurped anytime soon.
Carmelo Anthony and the Oklahoma City Thunder understandably were puzzled after the swingman was ejected Sunday night against the Portland Trail Blazers for what officials deemed a flagrant two foul. Anthony tallied an and-one bucket in the third quarter, scoring a layup despite being fouled by Portland big man Jusuf Nurkic.
However, after conferring together, officials whistled Anthony for the foul, because… well, we’re still not entirely sure.
Anthony did elbow Nurkic in the face, but it sure seemed like incidental contact and par for the course involving a play at the rim. And to say it fits the definition of a flagrant two foul — “unnecessary and excessive” or “unsportsmanlike” — is a stretch.
“I didn’t see the replay, so I’m trusting the officials,” Thunder head coach Billy Donovan told reporters after the game, per The Associated Press. “But I’ve never seen in my entire life a guy get an ‘and-one’ and then get thrown out of the game. That’s something the league or the officials need to handle.
“If you’re standing right there, I don’t know how you don’t see that. They take away two points and the ‘and-one’ and throw him out? That doesn’t seem right.”
OKC could have used Anthony, too. Portland held on to win 103-99.
Thumbnail photo via Mike DiNovo/USA TODAY Sports Images