WATCH: Russell Westbrook gets tech for drilling ref in the head with ball

Tanya Payne

Russell Westbrook is bringing old habits into the new year. Resolutions be damned, Russell picked up another technical foul, but this time not for what you’d think.

Russell Westbrook got his 10th technical foul of the season for drilling an official in the head with the basketball. Yes, you read that right. And while we all know Russy’s known to have an attitude problem, he actually has reason to be upset. Yes, he did hit a ref with a ball, but it was actually accidental. Either way, in the NBA, any inappropriate contact with a referee to any degree warrants a technical foul (or sometimes ejection) and sure enough that’s exactly what he got. Watch:

As he was heading to the Thunder bench during a timeout, Westbrook threw the ball at the official thinking he would catch it. But clearly, they weren’t on the same page. Instead, the ref got a shot to the head and Russ got his 10th tech of the season. Before that, not much was going Russell’s way as the Thunder trailed the Hornets, but given Russell’s own reaction and subsequent apology it’s looks pretty clear that he really didn’t mean to hit Tre Maddox, the officiating ref.

The entire incident is reminiscent of Allen Iverson getting a tech of his own for throwing the ball at the official back in 2005. The only difference is, Iverson had to be restrained by his teammates:

No word yet on whether the tech will be rescinded but given the nature of the foul, it looks like it should be; an accident is an accident. It’s just a case of the wrong place, wrong time.