Apparently, it's illegal to head-butt opponents during an NBA game? I know, I know — seems sort of weird and counterintuitive, but I guess it's against the rules, since the league announced Monday that Oklahoma City Thunder center Hasheem Thabeet had been suspended for one game after getting his Andre the Giant on all over New Orleans Pelicans big man Greg Stiemsma during New Orleans' 105-102 win over OKC on Oct. 17.
Take a look:
Well, sure, if you're going to penalize head-butts, I suppose that's a pretty clear example of one.
Thabeet and Stiemsma were each issued technical fouls for their roles in the second-quarter skirmish, which seemed to stem from Thabeet not particularly appreciating Stiemsma's screen-setting. While we're not necessarily looking to blame the head-buttee, it's perhaps worth noting that Stiemsma was involved in a somewhat similar altercation last season, while a member of the Minnesota Timberwolves, with Matt Barnes of the Los Angeles Clippers.
At the time, Barnes claimed Stiemsma "hit [him] with a couple of dirty picks early on and I told him to watch it, then he laughed and he hit me with another one," which prompted Barnes to hit Stiemsma in the throat with a forearm, which led to his ejection and a one-game suspension. As the old saying goes, once is chance, twice is a coincidence and three times is a trend; we'll have to keep an eye on whether Stiemsma just happens to find himself on the business end of another blowout at some point this season.
The NBA said Thabeet "will miss the first game that he is eligible and physically able to play in during the regular season." Barring an unforeseen injury, that should come when Oklahoma City opens the 2013-14 campaign in Salt Lake City against the Utah Jazz. Starting center Kendrick Perkins, who has missed time with a dislocated ring finger, returned to Thunder practice Monday and is expected to be available for the team's Tuesday preseason matchup with the Phoenix Suns.
Video via NBAshowtimeHD2.
- - - - - - -