The Sacramento Kings will be without big man Chimezie Metu when they take the floor for the Las Vegas Summer League championship game against the Boston Celtics on Tuesday night. On Monday, the NBA announced that Metu has been suspended for the game for punching Dallas Mavericks forward Eugene Omoruyi in the head during a game over the weekend.
With just over three minutes remaining in the Kings’ win over the Mavericks, Metu set a screen and rolled to the basket. Finding himself all alone in the paint, he took and pass and launched himself towards the rim for a highlight-reel slam. He never got there, however, because Omoruyi hit him in mid-air and caused Metu to fall awkwardly to the ground. After getting up, Metu punched Omoruyi in the head before both players were separated.
Metu was given a technical foul and ejected from the game, while Omoruyi was assessed a Flagrant 2 and also ejected. Omoruyi went undrafted this year and recently signed a two-way deal with the Mavericks. He will be eligible to play in the team’s Summer League finale against the Miami Heat on Tuesday.
As for Metu, he understandably faced a more significant punishment for retaliating and throwing a punch. While Omoruyi’s play was dangerous and deserved an ejection, the league has made a habit of cracking down on anything resembling fighting after the whistle.
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A second-round pick in 2018, Metu joined the Kings last season after being waived by the San Antonio Spurs. He saw sporadic playing time early on, but eventually carved out a regular role in the rotation over the final few months. On the back of a few impressive performances down the stretch, Metu signed a three-year, $4.3 million deal with the Kings in April.