The Los Angeles Clippers are up two games to one against the Dallas Mavericks in their playoff series, and the third game got testy between players. After Mavs star Luka Doncic reportedly told Montrezl Harrell to stop flopping, the Clippers player made an aggressive play at the basket and launched an insult against Doncic.
During the Friday (August 21) contest, Doncic and the Mavs were running a half-court set and the defense collapses on the Mavs star, who then kicked the ball out to Dorian Finney-Smith for a three-point shot that rang off the rim. With the Clippers getting the rebound and heading the other way on the court, Harrell appeared to be tripped up by Doncic, who stared at the downed player and reportedly told him to stop flopping.
Both Harrell and Doncic drew technical fouls for their slight shoving match that didn’t get far at all. Players and coaches from both sides prevented blows or any other shoving from being exchanged and it appeared that the moment was settled.
Those tensions still remained after Paul George collected a Mavs steal and sent it to the other end of the court where the ball was worked down low and Harrell came up with it under the basket. Using his body to bully Doncic out the paint, Harrell scored and while running back on defense, he can be clearly seen mouthing the words “b*tch ass white boy.”
ESPN analyst Jay Willams took to Instagram and shared a video expressing disappointment in Harrell for the insult, stating that if Doncic had done the same, all hell would break loose.
Matt Barnes, a former Los Angeles Clippers player, responded to Williams with his own Instagram video, highlighting that that was a light jab compared to what typically gets said on the court. Barnes also said that in the heat of battle, words like these are often exchanged.
A curious and almost expected reaction to this incident online has been some folks trying to make this a much deeper matter. Some fans are saying that Harrell should be punished, while others are calling out the hypocrisy of the league’s current social justice stances but not addressing insults that might be seen as racial.
And like clockwork, the All Lives Matter and right-wing media nuts are trying to spin this but not a peep about the systemic racism that continues to ravage the nation. Of course, that doesn’t feed their divisive narrative they created out of thin air so it won’t get addressed.
On NBA Twitter, there’s a ton of discussion surrounding the exchange and given the global platform Doncic enjoys as an All-Star player and Harrell’s rise as a valuable sixth man, there has been plenty of attention. We’ve got those reactions below.