HOUSTON (SPORTSRADIO 610) – The NBA doesn’t take too kindly to unwanted guests in its locker rooms.
The Rockets learned that on Wednesday night after Kiki VanDeWeghe, the NBA’s Executive Vice President of Basketball Operations, announced the two-game suspensions of Gerald Green and Trevor Ariza for their roles in a skirmish with the Los Angeles Clippers Monday night following a contentious 113-102 Rockets’ loss. It was Chris Paul’s first game against the Clippers in LA as a Rocket.
According to a release from the NBA, the league conducted “more than 20 interviews with executives, staff, coaches and players from both teams, as well as arena personnel.” From that, the league determined that Green and Ariza did in fact enter the Clippers locker room immediately after the game and engaged in a “hostile, verbal altercation with several Clippers players.” Chris Paul and James Harden were also on hand to witness the faux fracas, however the league’s Watergate-like investigative team determined that Harden and Paul were there to diffuse the situation rather than exacerbate it, thus no penalty was handed out to them.
Clippers Forward Blake Griffin, who bumped Rockets Coach Mike D’Antoni and antagonized the Rockets all night prior to his ejection – was not disciplined.
Green and Ariza will miss the Rockets next two games – both home contests against potential Western Conference Playoff opponents – Thursday against the resurgent Minnesota Timberwolves and on Saturday against the defending World Champion Golden State Warriors.
The Rockets have a 30-12 record and are in second place in the Western Conference.