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.
Joel Embiid on Monday will have an MRI on his injured left knee and is now listed as out indefinitely.
Embiid has been experiencing swelling and soreness in the left knee injury that has caused him to miss 16 out of the last 17 games. Bryan Colangelo announced back on Feb. 11 that Embiid has a minor meniscal tear. In his most recent press conference last Friday, Colangelo had targeted this Friday’s home game against the Knicks as a possibility for Embiid’s return. Now, that isn’t the case.
Embiid had been the biggest ray of hope for Philadelphia, but the 76ers shouldn’t chase watchability down the stretch. Sit Embiid until he’s fully healthy and secure the best draft position possible.
Maybe Embiid’s body just can’t handle the rigors of NBA basketball, but Philadelphia has no choice but to hope for the best with him and Simmons. And hope the nail the their first-round pick this year and get the Lakers’ first-rounder.
This could still be a dangerously good team in coming years. The Process created that potential.
But the threat of injury always looms around the corner, maybe especially so for Embiid.
Report: Knicks’ Joakim Noah likely to miss rest of season after knee surgery
Prepare for the talk next fall about Noah feeling refreshed and ready to help the Knicks.
But this surgery won’t reverse the underlying problem: Noah is a 31-year-old big man with heavy mileage. He can manage his knees, but it’s probably too late for him to regain enough athleticism to reliably contribute.
Just three years and $55 million+ remaining on his contract, which already looked like the NBA’s worst deal and is now even more unfavorable.
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