Russell Westbrook rips media after ball thrown at ref

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Wednesday

was an all-around bad night for NBA MVP candidate Russell Westbrook.

The Thunder guard received a technical foul for hitting a referee in the head with the ball, he made just 10 of 31 shots in a loss to the Hornets, and he got into it with a reporter after the game. Westbrook was asked about the overhand throw that hit an unsuspecting Tre Maddox in the head, a throw Westbrook maintained was unintentional.

"I called his name. He turned right at me and then looked away. I don't know," Westbrook said. "I don't know what to tell you, I really don't. I'm not the type of guy . . . I would never, ever disrespect the game like that and throw the ball at the referee. I've never done it before. That's just not even heard of in the game before. If you do that you get kicked out the game, that's not allowed, I would never do such a thing. To get a tech, it's crazy to me. But you take the good with the bad."

Westbrook, who was complaining to Maddox earlier in the game for not calling a foul on two aggressive drives to the basket, attempted to apologize multiple times for the incident. But it's not the first time this season a ball throw deemed unintentional has gotten Westbrook in hot water.

MORE: Westbrook says he's not 'reffed' the same way as other players 

During a game against the Trail Blazers in December, Westbrook heaved the ball from halfcourt to the officials as Damian Lillard was lining up for free throws. The ball hit the stanchion, and Westbrook was initially issued a technical foul. The referees convened and determined the throw was unintentional. 

Given what happened in Portland, a reporter wondered whether Wednesday's throw was part of a trend of recklessness. Westbrook took exception to the question during and after the media scrum.

"I don't want to hear that s—, man. Come on, man," Westbrook said. "I ain't perfect, bro. I make mistakes like everybody else. The ball slipped in Portland. Don't come up with that s—, man. Don't do that."

As the media was leaving the locker room, the reporter in question tried to apologize to Westbrook one on one, explaining his motive behind the question, but Westbrook wasn't having it. 

"Don't appreciate that s—," Westbrook said multiple times, adding that he felt disrespected just by the thought of his actions Wednesday being intentional.