While Russell Westbrook says he needs to hold himself to a higher standard after being ejected late from the Houston Rockets' blowout 135-105 win over the Golden State Warriors on Thursday, the guard also feels like he's been unfairly maligned by the referees, fans, and league itself.
"Obviously, I'm an emotional guy, but if you watched the clip, obviously, I hit Lee, but it wasn't on purpose," Westbrook said postgame, according to ESPN's Nick Friedell. "I'm going to the glass, he got hit, he said something to me, I said something to him. I'm standing there, a guy (Juan Toscano-Anderson) came and snatched the ball out of my hands.
"Guys come running up to me, I didn't move, but I'm always the one that gets painted to be the bad guy in the whole situation."
After exchanging some words with the Warriors' bench, Westbrook received his second technical foul of the game, earning an early exit.
Westbrook cited Warriors big man Kevon Looney stepping into his path as he attempted to leave the court for his continued hostility - "but I got to do a better job of holding myself accountable to a very, very high standard," he conceded.
"And I'll make sure I leave no room for error to allow somebody and people paint me out to be a guy that I'm not," Westbrook continued. "I just think it's unfair that after all that, I'm the only one that gets a tech or kicked out. That's not fair. I don't care what nobody says."