Ex-Piston Charlie Villanueva ejected for choking Russell Westbrook

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With the Mavericks electing to rest all five our their starters following an overtime loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers the night prior, Dallas’ bench earned big minutes against the Oklahoma City Thunder on Wednesday, including former Detroit Pistons power forward Charlie Villanueva.

Things turned physical in the second quarter, when the Mavericks’ J.J. Barea scuffled with Thunder guard Russell Westbrook. That’s when Villanueva intervened and briefly grabbed Westbrook by the neck. Unsurprisingly, Villanueva was ejected.

This isn’t the first time Villanueva has gotten in trouble for on-court behavioral issues.

As some Detroiters may recall, Villanueva was ejected from a game against the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2011 for delivering a groin punch to center Ryan Hollins and nearly inciting a brawl.

Then in 2012, Villanueva was assessed a flagrant foul for grabbing Orlando Magic guard Von Wafer around the neck.

The NBA is yet to announce further discipline for Villanueva, but it wouldn’t be shocking for the league hand down a suspension. Villanueva has played minimal minutes this season, averaging 5.9 points per game while backing up future Hall of Famer Dirk Nowitzki.

Here’s the full clip from Villanueva’s ejection on Wednesday: