Zaza Pachulia’s misdeeds are drawing near-universal rebuke around the NBA.
In a win over the Oklahoma City Thunder on Friday night, the Golden State Warriors center again became the subject of controversy after he appeared to intentionally fall on the legs of Thunder superstar Russell Westbrook.
What reason does Zaza have to fall over here? This screams dirty to me. No reason to fall on Russ’ legs here at all. pic.twitter.com/xMMwPx0wTL
— Adam Joseph ???????? (@AdamJosephSport) February 25, 2018
Reacting to a video of the play on Instagram, Boston Celtics guard Kyrie Irving commented that the NBA needed to address Pachulia after this latest incident.
“The league has to take a look at this man,” Irving wrote, according to Fred Katz of the Norman Transcript. “That s— is ridiculous.”
For his part, Pachulia scoffed at claims of him being a dirty player despite many, including Westbrook, saying just that after Friday’s game. The veteran big man’s history over the years more than speaks for itself though, and there really seems to be no reason to offer him the benefit of the doubt anymore.
Zaza Pachulia dismissed claims made by the Oklahoma City Thunder after Saturday night’s game of him being a dirty player as “childish.”
Pachulia was seen diving on top of Thunder star guard Russell Westbrook late in the third quarter. Pachulia’s dive on top of Westbrook appeared to be completely unnecessary.
Zaza doesn’t belong in this league… he doesn’t need to fall here and he certainly doesn’t have to dive at russ legs pic.twitter.com/WAorx4NFbz
— Kermit (@HeyItsKermit_) February 25, 2018
After the game, Westbrook said he thought it was intentional.
Russell Westbrook on Zaza Pachulia falling on him, and asked if he’s a dirty player: “Yeah. For sure.” pic.twitter.com/w9ZH0AwVP1
— Royce Young (@royceyoung) February 25, 2018
“Obviously it was intentional. Nobody touch me, he fell over my leg, tried to hurt me … that’s how it go,” Westbrook said of the play.
Asked if he thought Pachulia was a dirty player, Westbrook said, “Yeah, for sure.”
Westbrook’s Thunder teammate, Paul George, agreed that Pachulia fell on Westbrook intentionally.
Paul George on Pachulia falling into Westbrook: "You know Zaza. You know his history. You know nobody pushed him. He aimed where he was gonna fall. That’s Zaza making a Zaza play. He’s on the end of hurting a lot of guys."
— Fred Katz (@FredKatz) February 25, 2018
Pachulia was confronted with the claims made by Thunder players that he is dirty. He dismissed it all as “childish” and said he wouldn’t respond.
Zaza Pachulia on Russell Westbrook’s claim that he intentionally tried to hurt him: “No comment. That’s childish. Come on. I’m not responding to that.”
— Chris Haynes (@ChrisBHaynes) February 25, 2018
Pachulia doesn’t want to respond because he knows it’s true.
His list of offenses is long.
– He took a groin swipe at Iman Shumpert in the NBA Finals
– He stepped under Kawhi Leonard in the Western Conference finals and injured him
– He smacked Luke Babbitt in the face
– He also has a history with Westbrook
Here is all the evidence you need to see to know about Pachulia:
Kevin Durant had an … interesting… Twitter feed years ago. As we were reminded when Durant went on a tweet storm responding to his haters after the Warriors won the title last month, “Iceberg Slim” — who has a reputation for being soft-spoken and shy — is anything but that when it comes to social media. The man puts himself out there.
From shooting his shot at celebrities to making random observations about gut issues, K.D. was an active tweeter in the early 2010s. A sampling of his tweets:
Erykah badu thicker than a kindergarten pencil
— Kevin Durant (@KDTrey5) July 3, 2011
Scarlett johanneson I will drink ur bath water…#random
— Kevin Durant (@KDTrey5) January 17, 2011
Yes, the superstar’s feed was #random indeed, and the sports world would be more entertaining if he returned to tweeting regularly. In a hilarious spin on “Mean Tweets,” SLAM had current NBA players read Durant’s old tweets during red carpet interviews at the ESPYS. Watch the incredible video below:
Some of Kevin Durant's most infamous tweets get read by NBA stars—and his mother pic.twitter.com/5HOJk3Vzfh
— SLAM Magazine (@SLAMonline) July 14, 2017
One of the funnier moments occurs at the 1:00 mark, when Pistons forward Andre Drummond reads a tweet from Durant directed at Amber Rose. Another funny one comes shortly thereafter, when Warriors teammate Zaza Pachulia reads a tweet about Durant soaking his feet in hot grits.
At the 2:10 mark, Durant’s mother, Wanda, even gets in on the fun. Between this and the Peyton Manning joke, it may seem like Durant took a beating at the ESPYS — but it was all in good fun, and Durant was reportedly in on Manning’s monologue joke.
The Golden State Warriors may be continuing to bring the gang back together.
Sam Amick of USA TODAY Sports reported on Monday that the defending champions are “expected” to re-sign center Zaza Pachulia.
The 33-year-old Pachulia put up 6.1 points and 5.9 rebounds in 18.1 minutes per game for the Warriors in 2016-17. While he often made headlines for all the wrong reasons, Pachulia’s big body and bruising style of play provided value to Golden State all year. He was also crucial in neutralizing Tristan Thompson during the NBA Finals, a matchup that helped swing the series.
The Warriors have already agreed to new deals this offseason with Stephen Curry, Kevin Durant, Andre Iguodala, and Shaun Livingston. Bringing back Pachulia as well may be the next piece of the puzzle for their title defense.
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- Zaza Pachulia
Golden State Warriors center Zaza Pachulia will face no extra discipline for his groin swipe on Iman Shumpert in Game 4, according to a report.
USA Today’s Sam Amick reported that, after a routine investigation by the league office, Pachulia is off the hook for potential discipline — as is everyone else.
No extra discipline coming from the NBA based on the Cavs-Warriors plays reviewed from Game 4, I’m told.
— Sam Amick (@sam_amick) June 10, 2017
There was some thought that Pachulia could face a suspension for his actions in Game 4, but evidently, the league has determined that there was no explicit intent behind what he did. It means both Golden State and Cleveland will be at full strength for Game 5 at Oracle Arena Monday night.
Zaza Pachulia could be subject to additional NBA discipline thanks to his actions in Game 4 of the NBA Finals.
According to USA Today’s Sam Amick, the league is reviewing several incidents from Game 4, including Pachulia’s groin shot on Cleveland forward Iman Shumpert.
The NBA is reviewing several incidents from last night's game, I'm told. Zaza Pachulia swipe at Shumpert is among them. Standard protocol.
— Sam Amick (@sam_amick) June 10, 2017
As Amick notes, this is standard operating procedure, so it doesn’t necessarily mean Pachulia is going to get a suspension. It could, though, if the league determines that there was intent behind Pachulia’s actions. At the time, he was only assessed a technical foul.
- Zaza Pachulia
Golden State Warriors center Zaza Pachulia once again found himself embroiled in controversy in Game 4 of the NBA Finals.
During a scrum for a loose ball on the floor, Pachulia got tied up and appeared to take a shot at Cleveland forward Iman Shumpert’s groin during the tangle.
Zaza Pachulia and Iman Shumpert get into it pic.twitter.com/6SbAiuu6my
— Def Pen Hoops (@DefPenHoops) June 10, 2017
— Andrew Jerell Jones (@sluggahjells) June 10, 2017
Pachulia was involved in a very controversial play against the San Antonio Spurs as well. Upon review, he and Shumpert received double technicals, but the NBA may see fit to take a further look at that play before Game 5.