Hawks’ Mike Budenholzer ejected for bumping referee

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Hawks coach Mike Budenholzer was heated. At the other end of the floor, Justin Holiday had driven the lane and got smacked in the face, and there was no call. Budenholzer was going to let the official hear about it.

But you can’t touch the referee — Budenholzer did and got tossed for it during the second quarter Hawks loss to the Cavaliers. You can see the bump (small though it was) in the video above, watch the left side of the frame after the :34 mark.

After the game, Budenholzer said this, via the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

“I was very close to him. That seems like that could be the reason why he threw me out after just a single technical. If there was any contact it would be totally unintentional. If there is contact, I’m sure that’s why he made the judgment call that he did.”

“I didn’t get a lot (of explanation on ejection) really. At the moment I tried to get more. I don’t know. He threw me out. That’s his prerogative. So, I’m sure we will learn more going forward.”

There likely will be a fine at least for Budenholzer on top of this. Usually contact with an official gets a suspension, but the infraction is so minor and incidental I’m not sure it’s warranted here. Then again, the NBA’s fine/suspension structure is as random as roulette, so who knows.