Evan Turner was ejected from Wednesday night’s contest between the Celtics and the Raptors for throwing the ball at an official, which the rulebook states is an accurate punishment for the offense.
The only problem is that when you watch the video, Turner’s actions seemed completely harmless.
But intent is almost impossible to determine, so when a player bounces a ball that ends up hitting an official, an automatic ejection is usually what takes place.
A day later, Turner wanted to make it clear that in doing what he did, he meant no disrespect.
The worst thing about that situation was somebody wrote I threw the ball at a ref,” Turner said before the Celtics defeated the Sixers 111-91 Thursday night at the Wells Fargo Center. “The ball bounced 10 times and hit the ref on the ankle, so hopefully I don’t get in trouble.
“I take full responsibility for that situation,” he said. “Obviously it was just bad in general. I wasn’t bouncing it maliciously or anything, but I take full responsibility for my actions in that situation. But if you read that I threw a ball at a ref, it sounds 10 times worse than the little thing that I did do, once you watch the video.”
The ball only bounced twice, but it’s believable that Turner was being sincere.
Right or wrong, however, the referees are going to enforce this 100 percent of the time, in order to make sure that the proper respect level from players remains in place.