The Los Angeles Clippers were up 25 points with nine minutes to play in their win over the Phoenix Suns when Ryan Hollins inexplicably decided it was time to be a tough guy.
The seven-footer was pressing 6’3″ Goran Dragic after a basket and when the Suns guard leaned into the Clippers centre, Hollins draped his arm around his opponent’s chest and neck and pushed back.
Suns centre Jermaine O’Neal stepped in and tried to separate the two but Hollins pulled Dragic toward the Suns bench and that was when Michael Beasley stepped in.
“He choked Gogi,” Beasley told the Arizona Republic’s Paul Coro. “These guys in this locker room are my family. They’re my brothers. You’re not going to choke my brother and sit there and smile about it. I feel like the only reason he did that was because it was Gogi. He’s bigger than Gogi. I’d do it a million times. I’d do it for anyone in this locker room. That’s not right to do anybody. You want to pick on somebody. I got a 7-footer to my right (O’Neal) that likes that kind of stuff. Don’t pick on our smallest guys and then to put him in a headlock and hold it for five minutes? I just wanted to get him off Gogi and he threw his fists up at me. That’s when the situation got heated.”
Both Beasley and Hollins were tossed out of the game with Dragic describing Hollins maneuver as “dirty” afterwards.
“He hooked me and then I tried to separate,” Dragic said. “He was choking me and I tried to get free. That’s it. I don’t know why that happened. It was just a dirty play. I tried to separate but he’s strong.
“You have to stand for yourself and get separated. Michael helped and separated us. I feel sorry for him because he got ejected. He was a true teammate and he helped me. I would do the same thing. It’s hard when the big guy is going against a point guard.”