(photo credit, CSNWashington.com)
With 3:53 remaining in last Wednesday’s game, Orlando leading Washington 92-87, Jameer Nelson found Jason Richardson cutting toward the basket. Trevor Booker slid over from his man to cut off Richardson, putting both arms straight up and holding position on the right block, which forced Richardson to miss his shot. Booker then won the loose ball rebound battle with Dwight Howard; Richardson, frustrated by the miss, was called for a foul after hitting Booker on the arm. As Trevor ripped the ball away, his right leg inadvertently hit Richardson’s and forced him to fall on the ground.
The Magic guard popped off the ground and immediately got into the face of Booker. He wanted to verbally inform him of his displeasure from the accidental trip. The exchange escalated when Richardson tugged at Booker’s shorts, causing Booker to react by shoving his hands off of him. Richardson then lunged forward as the former Clemson standout stood his ground, apparently ready to throw down. Tensions eventually subsided and both players were assessed double technicals.
Booker commented on the skirmish:
“He came at me pretty strong, but you know me. I’m not backing down…..I don’t take anything from anybody.”
Richardson twice declined to detail what went down:
“I’m not talking about it. It’s basketball. People have tempers. It’s part of the game.”
Howard saw the face-off through a seniority-based lens:
“He’s a vet and a young guy. The vet was telling the young to chill. The young guy didn’t like it so they went at it … It’s basketball, it happens.”
Nelson was thankful cooler heads prevailed:
“I dont know what happened, but it’s basketball and it is a contact sport. Guys are going to get upset when things happen. I’m glad that no one got really into it, fined or kicked out.”
- Wizards TV Analyst Phil Chenier astutely pointed out that Richardson was probably embarrassed that he hit the floor.
- Richardson eventually ended up at half court, when Booker evidently explained to him that the trip was not intentional. This calmed tension between them, but Richardson was still upset, with the target of his ire focused on other Wizards, specifically Mo Evans. The picture below shows this transpiring.
- John Wall, who has a reputation for a trash talker, got into the middle of the scrum and ended up jawing with several Magic players. Hedu Turkoglu took exception and started verbally firing back. This caused Jordan Crawford and Turkoglu to exchange words, forcing these two players to be separated.
- Post game, Magic center Daniel Orton told Ryan Anderson in the locker room that he did not care if Wall was his former college teammate when it came to a potential fight.
Here is my video of the tussle along with Magic comments. Glen Davis decided to laugh through his answer.
Richardson had moved on from yelling at Booker.
Crawford and Turkoglu wanted a piece of each other. I got East Detroit over Turkey.