Shaun Livingston was ejected during the Golden State Warriors Sunday beatdown of the Miami Heat. The incident that led to him getting ejected - going forehead to forehead with a referee, and making contact - usually earns an automatic suspension.
And a suspension it earned indeed. Livingston has been suspended for one game, and will serve his punishment tonight, against the New Orleans Pelicans.
However, he wasn’t the only person getting suspended. Courtney Kirkland, the referee involved in the incident, has been suspended for one week.
The NBA has suspended official Courtney Kirkland for one week without pay following the on-court altercation with Shaun Livingston last night in Miami. pic.twitter.com/f4ZnPL4bGs— Logan Murdock (@loganmmurdock) December 4, 2017
The incident left many people questioning Kirkland’s role in the dispute. Livingston certainly initiated things by approaching Kirkland, but the contact was quite arguably created by Kirkland. Apparently, the league office felt that Kirkland played a strong role in the contact.
Warriors’ sideline reporter Kerith Burke had a pretty funny reaction to the news, noting that Kirkland was incorrect in his post-game assessment incident. Kirkland told reporters after the game that, “Shaun Livingston was ejected for making physical contact with me . . . that’s basically it.”
"That's basically it."— Kerith Burke (@KerithBurke) December 4, 2017
NBA narrator: "It was not." https://t.co/PZKkfaNUG8
Livingston’s absence won’t really be noticed, as he was likely going to have a rest day against the Pelicans. However, he’ll lose one game’s worth of salary for his role in the dispute.
Still, it’s good to see that the NBA is holding the referee responsible.