Toronto Raptors suffered through a very frustrating evening at Rose Garden last night, losing 74-92 to the Portland Trail Blazers.
Probably the most frustrated player on the floor was Amir Johnson, who got ejected from the game in bizarre fashion.
Johnson has a regular routine to grab the ball after someone has shot a free throw, rub the ball, and then hand it back to the referee.
However, this time around, the ball bounced into the hands of the official. Johnson walked up to the referee trying to take the ball from his hands in order to go through with his routine, but the ref refused to let go of the ball.
When the referee let go of the ball he started walking towards the judges table, swiftly turned around and tossed Amir Johnson out of the game. Clearly frustrated, Johnson walked after the official and had to be held back by teammate Mickael Pietrus. Before Johnson stepped off the floor, he took out his mouthpiece and threw it in the ref’s direction.
You can watch the video of the ejection below:
It is still unclear if or what kind of punishment Amir Johnson will face for throwing his mouthpiece. Aaron Brooks, of the Sacramento Kings, was involved in a similar incident, and was fined $25,000 for throwing his mouthpiece into the stands.
After the game, Raptors’ coach Dwane Casey said that it was out of character for the power forward to do such a thing, and Johnson agreed:
“It’s out of character. My teammates know me, the fans know me, they’ve been watching my career and I never lose my cool. I never say anything to a ref or get mad.”
“Pretty much what happened, before every free throw I always go and rub the ball and give it right back to the ref. I guess the ref didn’t let me have the ball, so we kind of got into a tug of war. No words were really said from then on. He ejected me from the game and I kind of lost my cool from there.”
“I think it was just real childish, it was something that didn’t need to happen.”
-Amir Johnson, Toronto Raptors
To make matters worse for the Raptors, Andrea Bargnani had to leave the game with an elbow injury, while Kyle Lowry was unable to play in the second half after hurting his shoulder.
Portland Trail Blazers set an NBA record by shooting 0-20 from the three-point line, but still managed to blow out the Raptors.
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