- The Washington Times - Wednesday, November 9, 2016

The game was well in hand when John Wall rushed over to Boston Celtics guard Marcus Smart and hit him around the neck and head in the fourth quarter Wednesday night.

Wall, filled with frustration from the referees and the Celtics‘ constantly hitting him, had just pulled himself up off the court. Smart was stopped in the backcourt by Tomas Satoransky before Wall came over and hit him, knocking him to the ground. Pushing and yelling followed.

“Just me getting frustrated,” Wall said. “Got stepped on on purpose. Drove to the basket a couple times, didn’t get calls. The play before I did that, got smacked across the face and my ear [by Avery Bradley]. I just let my frustration get the best of me.”

Earlier in the day, the NBA fined Wall $25,000 for “for inappropriate interaction with a game official and failing to leave the court in a timely manner following his ejection” on Monday. Wall was thrown out after brushing into an official as he walked toward the Wizards bench for a timeout. The official told Wall to “watch himself,” among other things, and Wall said something back. He was then thrown out of the game. The Wizards won, 118-93.

Smart was not pleased with Wall coming after him late in a blowout.

“He made a hard foul and [I wasn’t] too fond of it,” Smart said. “I let him know what I had to say. I ain’t backing down from nobody, and that’s going to be understood from here on out. I don’t know what he thought, but I think he got the message.

Smart was asked if there was any interaction that preceded the incident.

“I don’t really know,” Smart said. “He said I couldn’t post him up because I posted him up and I’ve been posting up little guards all year. It is what it is.”

The concern for the Wizards is two-fold: first, twice this week Wall has lost control of his emotions and been ejected. Second, Wednesday night’s ejection could lead to a suspension by the league. Wall did not appear to throw a punch, but struck Smart around the head. The league will not look kindly on that.

Last season, the Celtics and Wizards played physical games. Smart broke Bradley Beal’s nose when going for a rebound. Beal, resisting a smile, said he thought Wall became frustrated.

“He’s a grown man at the end of the day,” Beal said. “He’s going to make his decisions. I guess you could say he could of afforded one tonight. The game wasn’t close — we can’t be that mad at him. He knows how valuable he is to the team. We all know how valuable he is. We definitely need him going forward. I think he just felt like Marcus was out there just being a hack, so he just wanted to give him a taste, I guess.”

Washington (2-5) has two tough games coming up to close the week. The NBA champion Cleveland Cavaliers are in Washington on Friday. Saturday, the Wizards travel to play the Bulls. Wall was planning to sit out one of those game before Wednesday night’s incident. The Wizards are resting Wall for a game when they play back-to-back games early in the season. The three-time All-Star had two knee surgeries in the offseason.


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