Grant Hill and Reggie Evans got ejected from a preseason game last night for patting each other on the butt. Seriously.
It may be the worst ejection we can remember in the NBA. Referee Bill Kennedy is in mid-season overreaction form.
It happened while the Raptors were blowing the Suns out of the building Wednesday night (don’t read anything into that, it’s preseason). Follow this link to DailyMotion to see the video, but here’s what happened.
The play before there had been a little standing next to each other and jawing between Suns and Raptors players, particularly Hill and Evan. Nothing too malicious but the refs gave both the “hey let’s calm down everybody” double technical. Nothing out of the ordinary.
Then when the ball comes in bounds it ends up with Hill in the mid-post defended by Evans, so Hill tries to go to the quick spin move around him. Hill is bumped and slips to the floor. Hill gets up and — as athletes in every sport do all the time — he patted Evans behind. Evans tapped him back harder, so Hill turned and gave Evans one more solid tap.
Technical. And an ejection by Kennedy. Evans and Hill walk off laughing, the crowd booing the ref first then cheering the two players.
The twitter timeline for NBA people at the game — such as Holly McKenzie — lit up with “are you kidding me” posts just like the announcer on the video did. With good reason. We’re in the preseason and we may already have the worst ejection of the season. Kennedy has a quick trigger, but this is really outdoing even himself.
Dwyane Wade has earned his status as an elder statesman, the E.F. Hutton kind of veteran who speaks and everybody listens.
Rookie Justise Winslow is listening.
Winslow (who should have gone higher in this draft) is a perfect fit for the Heat and he’s going to be part of their rotation off the bench from the start of the season (along with Josh McRoberts and Amare Stoudemire). Wade has already fully stepped into the mentor role with Winslow working with him on post moves, reports Jason Lieser at the Palm Beach Post.
“As his career develops, hopefully he’s able to do multiple things on the floor, but right now there’s gonna be certain things (Erik Spoelstra) wants him to do, and some of those things I’m good at,” Wade said. “I’m just passing down knowledge to someone who I think could be good at things that I have strengths at. It’s gonna take a while, but if he figures it out at 21, he’s ahead of the curve. I figured it out at like 27.
“All of us are where we’re at because someone before us helped us. They helped by letting us sit there and watch film with them or having conversations with them. If he’s a student of it and he really wants to know, I’m a pretty decent teacher in certain areas.”
This is what you want out of a veteran leader and some of the young teams out there have done an excellent job adding this kind of mentor — Kevin Garnett in Minnesota may be the best example. Someone who can pass on his wisdom and show the team’s young players how to be a professional and win in the NBA.
It’s a little different for Winslow, he and the Heat are more in a win-now mode, but he should be able to contribute to that.
Bill Bridges, a star as a Kansas Jayhawk who went on to have a 12-year NBA career that included being part of the 1975 Golden State Warriors championship team, has passed away, according to the University of Kansas.
Bridges was an undersized power forward at 6’6″ but he was a beast on the boards who averaged 11.9 rebounds a game for his career and more than 13 a game for six straight years at the peak of his career. That 11.9 per game average is still 27th all-time in NBA history.
A New Mexico native, Bridges was a three-time All-Star (all as a member of the Hawks), two-time All-NBA Defensive team, and was part of the 1975 Warriors title team. Besides the Hawks (St. Louis and Atlanta) and Warriors, Bridges played for the Sixers and Lakers.
Our thoughts are with his family and friends.