Houston Rockets guard Russell Westbrook bemoaned always being considered "the bad guy" and queried why more players were not punished in the incident that led to his ejection against the Golden State Warriors.
Nine-time All-Star Westbrook's night ended prematurely when he received two technical fouls in Houston's 135-105 victory.
The second of those technical fouls came in the fourth quarter after Westbrook caught Damion Lee with a stray arm.
The situation was only exacerbated when Westbrook then argued with players on Golden State's bench, including the injured Klay Thompson, before confronting Kevon Looney prior to being ejected.
"I hold myself to a very, very high standard," Westbrook told reporters afterwards.
"I think the refs, the fans, the media, the NBA are put in a position now that I'm not allowed to really do much. Obviously I'm an emotional guy.
"If you watch the clip, obviously I hit Lee but it wasn't on purpose. 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] comes to snatch the ball out of my hand. Guys come running to me, I didn't move.
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"But I'm always the one who gets painted to be the bad guy in the whole situation.
"They asked me to walk towards the Warriors bench. I'm just over there walking towards the bench and then one of the little young fellas tells me, 'Why you walking over here?'
"I turned around and said, 'What did you say?' So now everybody's running over to me, then I'm walking towards the thing, then Looney steps in front of me.
"I feel like I'm in a position where it's like, 'Oh, well. Russ is being Russ', which nobody knows what that means.
"But I've got to do a better job of holding myself to a very, very high standard. I'll make sure I leave no room for error to allow somebody to paint me out to be a guy that I'm not."
However, Westbrook, who had 21 points and 10 assists before his exit, felt he was singled out and that others should have been punished too.
"I just think it's unfair, though, that after all of that, I'm the only one who gets a tech or kicked out," added Westbrook, who leads the NBA with 13 technical fouls this season.
"That's not fair, I don't care what nobody says.
"There were so many other people involved in it that were doing so many things that weren't okay but I'm the one that gets the tech, gets ejected, and everyone else is cool and gets back to play.
"But I take responsibility and I hold myself to a very high standard."Published 21 Feb 2020, 15:34 IST