All Amir Johnson wanted to do was rub the ball. The Toronto Raptors player was ejected from the game last night and could be facing a suspension after he threw his mouth piece at referee David Jones.
So why was Johnson so upset with Jones? Well, because NBA official David Jones screwed with Johnson’s free throw routine.
The Toronto Raptors forward is apparently a little superstitious and likes to rub the ball between free throws. So when J.J. Hickson of the Portland Trailblazers shot his first free throw Johnson stepped forward to retrieve the ball. Unfortunately, the ref also had the crazy idea of grabbing the ball.
The two grown men then got into a little tug of war and Jones eventually gave Johnson a technical and threw him out of the game.
That, by itself, would be a pretty bizarre and childish incident.
But it gets a lot more childish. Johnson was so incensed at the call that he tried to confront Jones. When he was restrained by his teammates Johnson did the only logical thing that a grown man can do in that situation: He took out his mouth guard and threw it at the ref.
Amir Johnson hasn’t been suspended by the NBA yet but David Stern isn’t going to let the incident go unpunished.
After the game, Johnson said:
“Pretty much what happened was before every free throw, I always go and rub the ball and give it 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.”
Here’s a video of the incident.