Wayne Ellington scored 18 points in the Los Angeles Lakers’ victory over the Denver Nuggets to end the 2021-22 season on a high note — but it was the incident the guard got involved in during the game that started off his exit interview on Monday.
Near the halfway mark of the second quarter, Ellington tried to collect a rebound after a missed layup by Denver’s Markus Howard. But even if the ball had bounced off the rim and toward the Lakers guard, he wouldn’t have been able to get the board, as Facundo Campazzo — seemingly upset by a no-call on his drive during the previous play — ran into the 34-year-old and grounded him with a forceful shove from behind.
As Ellington was falling, he hit Wenyen Gabriel’s leg with his head to make the situation even more dangerous. The officials called a Flagrant 2 foul on Campazzo, ejecting the sophomore point guard from the game.
The following day, Ellington called out the Nuggets guard for a “cheap, dirty play” that he thinks doesn’t belong on the basketball court.
“That’s very dangerous. And I don’t feel like there’s room in the game of basketball for that,” Ellington said.
“I mean, thank God that I’m able to sit here today, and I’m sitting and talking to you guys because it could have been much worse, it could have been much worse than what it was. You shove a guy in the back like that, you know, there’s a lot of things that can come from that. And I think that’s almost like at the top of the list of plays that you don’t make on a basketball court in terms of how dangerous it could be. So I was heated.”
Ellington added he felt light-headed after hitting Gabriel’s leg and didn’t initially know what happened on the play.
“[T]hen, you know, things got kind of blurry for me when I stood back up,” the Lakers guard said. “I saw guys, you know, saying like, ‘No, that’s a dirty play.’ After I got back to the bench I’m like ‘Did he push me? Like, what happened?’ And everybody [was like] ‘Yeah he pushed you, it was a dirty play.’ And I didn’t really realize this, you know, the severity of it until I saw the replay.
“I didn’t see the replay until halftime when I went back in the locker room. So I was like, okay, yeah, that was a dirty ass play.”
Ellington wants revenge on Campazzo after Sunday’s incident
Ellington made his feelings toward Campazzo’s foul known shortly after the game, tagging the Nuggets guard in a tweet and saying he would take his revenge.
“When I see you I’m putting my hands on you,” Ellington tweeted.
As a result of the incident and Ellington’s reaction on Twitter, he was fined $20,000 while Campazzo was suspended one game without pay.
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