Kris Dunn and Trae Young are two young Eastern Conference point guards on bad teams. Young is a 2019 Rookie of the Year candidate with the Atlanta Hawks while Dunn is struggling to get his career back on track with the Chicago Bulls. As the two squared off at United Center in Chicago, a first quarter row set both players off.
The teams were headed for a break in the action in the first with less than six minutes to go when Young did what he does best, shooting a long 3-pointer after stoppage. Dunn appeared to sort of walk under Young’s shooting arm as he landed, which prompted the Hawks guard to grab Dunn ever to slightly. Dunn then followed Young and slapped him in the back of the head, and the two turned to meet each other.
Dunn and Young were separated quickly, and both were given technical fouls. Still, it’s not often you see a guy get away with straight up slapping a dude in the back of the dome.
Then in the third quarter, with their little altercation still fresh in their minds and the competitive juices flowing, Young stared down Dunn after hitting a 3-pointer.
That prompted referees to eject Young.
I don’t think NBA officiating is of particular note from game-to-game, but the variance this season in the league has certainly been something. This is pretty ridiculous, and if we get comment from the NBA about this I’d be curious to see if Young did something particularly egregious to warrant the ejection of a star player like this.
At least it wasn’t the weakest ejection in NBA history: