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2013-14 Season Look Ahead: Hasheem Thabeet suspended for head butt to New Orleans Pelicans' Greg Stiemsma

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Hasheem Thabeet will be forced to sit on opening night against the Jazz after committing a head butt against the Pelicans' Greg Stiemsma.

USA TODAY Sports

Oklahoma City backup center Hasheem Thabeet has been suspended for one game as a penalty for head-butting the New Orleans Pelicans' Greg Stiemsma. The head butt occurred late in the 1st half of the Thunder's game against the Pelicans. Thabeet was attempting to fight through Stiemsma's screen when the altercation occurred. From Sports Illustrated's Ben Golliver:

Thabeet shoved Stiemsma in the chest and throat as he tried to fight through a screen while playing perimeter defense. Stiemsma responded with a shove of his own, leading Thabeet to pursue him chest-to-chest, before leaning in with his head to contact Stiemsma’s head. The two players were then separated, and the referees assessed double technical fouls, allowing both Thabeet and Stiemsma to remain in the game.  Thabeet finished with two points and three rebounds in 14 minutes of action.

Here is the play in question:


Thabeet's suspension will commence in the first game which he is eligible and able to play, which likely will be on opening night against the Utah Jazz on October 30th. Rookie Steven Adams, who has been impressive in his past two pre-season games, becomes the de facto backup center.