By Ben Golliver
Clippers center Ryan Hollins was assessed a flagrant foul 2 and ejected for holding Suns guard Goran Dragic in a headlock during a 126-101 win at the Staples Center on Wednesday night.
With the Clippers leading 105-81 with 8:56 remaining in the fourth quarter, Hollins and Dragic became entangled in the paint, with Hollins first shoving Dragic's head back and then holding him in a headlock with his left arm as he took numerous steps and exchanged words with a referee. Michael Beasley finally intervened, shoving Hollins, who then attempted to fight through Jared Dudley to retaliate. Eventually the two sides were separated.
Both Hollins and Beasley were ejected.
The flagrant foul 2 designation applies to fouls that are deemed both “unnecessary and excessive.” All flagrant fouls are reviewed by the NBA league office and are subject to possible discipline including a fine and/or suspension. Hollins' action were totally unnecessary and are certainly worthy of further sanction.
Beasley gave his side of the story to the Arizona Republic after the game.
“He choked Gogi,” Beasley said of Hollins’ foul on Dragic. “These guys in this locker room are my family. They’re my brothers. You’re not going to choke my brother and sit there and smile about it. I feel like the only reason he did that was because it was Gogi. He’s bigger than Gogi. I’d do it a million times. I’d do it for anyone in this locker room. That’s not right to do anybody. You want to pick on somebody. I got a 7-footer to my right (O’Neal) that likes that kind of stuff. Don’t pick on our smallest guys and then to put him in a headlock and hold it for five minutes? I just wanted to get him off Gogi and he threw his fists up at me. That’s when the situation got heated.”
Hollins departed with seven points (on 2-for-2 shooting) and four fouls in nine minutes. Beasley left with 13 points (on 5-for-8 shooting), three assists and two rebounds in 17 minutes.
Named one of the dirtiest players in the league by a Sports Illustrated player poll last season, Hollins was hit with a flagrant 1 in February for a cheap shot on the Rockets' Jeremy Lin.
The Clippers, the Western Conference's No. 4 seed, improved to 50-26 on the season. The Suns dropped to 23-52, the worst record in the West.
Video via YouTube user OutsideTheNBA | Hat tip: @StackMack