Teams regularly suspend players for conduct detrimental to the team. The most famous episode in recent NBA history is J.R. Smith throwing a bowl of soup at an assistant coach. Boogie got suspended for yelling at George Karl during a game while playing in Sacramento. Several players got it for arguing with Rick Carlisle.
All professional leagues have such a clause, a rule that enables teams and league offices to set a precedent on unacceptable behavior. It is time for Adam Silver to do something about Westbrook’s “next question” antics. We already covered his attitude, and now the moral hazard is coming to life.
In a recent story by Ethan Sherwood Strauss for The Athletic, Steve Kerr agreed that such treatment of media is dangerous for the NBA.
I just feel that we have to be very careful as a league. We’re in a good place right now. Very popular. Fans love the game, the social dynamic, the fashion. But more than anything they love the connection they feel to the players. I think it’s important for the players to understand that it’s a key dynamic to this league. I don’t think this is a healthy dynamic, for this league, for any player, any team, any local media, any national media.
A lot of the league, including Doc Rivers and Kerr, is taking notice and joking around that they should do the same. As former players, they know that the relationship players have with the media helps build the community fans love to be a part of and that it grows the business as a whole.
Westbrook’s behavior isn’t just childish and insulting; it is conduct detrimental to the league. Sometimes, I wish David Stern is back for just 10 minutes.