‘There’s no excuse for this’: Fists fly in the NBA as two players are EJECTED after nasty foul leads to impromptu punch-up (VIDEO)
The 24-year-old Metu reacted furiously after being cynically pushed while in the air by Omoruyi – an incident which came several months after Metu was forced to miss time after fracturing his wrist in a similar incident – and immediately retaliated against his opponent, rising from the court and throwing a short punch to the side of Omoruyi's head.
Omoruyi had initially removed himself from the incident, only to immediately turn on his heels in an attempt to seek revenge of his own for the punch by aggressively approaching Metu before the pair were separated by a gang of players and officials.
Following a review of the incident, both players, who are of Nigerian descent, were ejected from the game – with Omoruyi's violation being categorized as a so-called 'flagrant two', which means that referees deemed the contact in the air both dangerous and excessive.
Mavs forward Eugene Omoruyi (flagrant 2) and Kings forward Chimezie Metu (punching foul) were both ejected after this play: pic.twitter.com/WGXSh8FUnP— NBA on ESPN (@ESPNNBA) August 15, 2021
Metu was also sent from the court for a 'punching foul'.
Both players had scored seven points for their team at the time of the ugly exchange but played no further part in the game.
In the hours after the game it was announced by the NBA that Metu will serve a one-game suspension for the punching foul – a punishment which rules him out of Tuesday's Las Vegas Summer League championship game against the Boston Celtics.
Omoruyi, by contrast, will be available for selection for his team's final game against the Miami Heat on Tuesday.
While he was the initial victim of foul play, Metu's post-whistle punch has seen the league crack down on him with the one-game suspension – which comes at a pivotal time – amid an ongoing and concerted effort to address potentially violent incidents such as this one.
However, some basketball fans weren't so turned off by what they saw.
Let’s get ready to rumble!!!! Makes these games more entertaining.— dubliners (@paulapp2112) August 15, 2021
There’s no excuse for this kind of foul…it’s not a basketball play- if he jumped and tried to make a play, then hey whatever happens after that is part of the game…but you don’t push someone mid-air. He deserved a punch in the ear 😆— anthony ramos (@bruins05) August 16, 2021
Pretty sure if dude would’ve tried to fight back he would’ve been jumped, his teammates acted like he deserved the punch too 😂— Sean Coogan (@coogan347) August 16, 2021
"Let’s get ready to rumble," one fan wrote online. "Makes these games more entertaining."
That opinion, though, wasn't quite a unanimous one.
"There’s no excuse for this kind of foul," said another. "It’s not a basketball play – if he jumped and tried to make a play then hey, whatever happens after that is part of the game… but you don’t push someone mid-air. He deserved a punch in the ear."
"Pretty sure if dude would’ve tried to fight back he would’ve been jumped. His teammates acted like he deserved the punch, too," said a third.Also on rt.com Russian hockey player denies he is a racist after being fined, condemned by team for slant-eyed gesture at Chinese player (VIDEO)