Robin Lopez and Serge Ibaka seem like relatively laid back guys, but one little bump in the back sent the two at each other on Tuesday night. Both sent actual fists flying, and the result for the Chicago Bulls and Toronto Raptors was an unpleasant one: Lopez and Ibaka were ejected.
The incident occurred during the third quarter of the game in Toronto. After a made bucket, both Lopez and Ibaka could be seen shoving each other a bit. Lopez turned to face Ibaka, swatted at the ball, and the two went after it.
It’s unclear what set Lopez off, but if I wanted to wager a guess it would be that he didn’t like Ibaka giving him a chicken wing in his lower back. Lopez tries to manage that area of his body delicately, and can often be seen between quarters laying flat on the floor near the corner of the bench, much like Steve Nash used to do.
Of course, who started it is another question. Lopez can be seen giving a hard box out on Ibaka well after the ball is through the basket, so Ibaka’s retaliation makes a little sense.
Meanwhile, Chicago’s Nikola Mirotic got into it with a Raptors assistant coach:
That the two went to full-on punches is a rarity for the NBA. No doubt some fines are coming for the two big men. Both were assessed technicals and ejected from the game.