Like many, Stephen A. Smith knew that Giannis was ejected Wednesday. Though, he didn’t know why the Milwaukee Bucks star was until Thursday morning. He was digusted by the ejection of Giannis Antetokounmpo, just the fourth time in his career.
During the third quarter of the Bucks matchup against the Detroit Pistons, his team went on to win 120-118. Antetokounmpo briefly mean-mugged Isaiah Stewart after dunking on the Pistons’ forward. He would quickly be handed a technical foul for the staredown. That happened to be his second of the game, which would result in the ejection.
Thursday Morning on First Take, Molly Qerim referenced Antetokounmpo’s ejection while introducing the question of “Are the 76ers the best team in the East?” Stephen A. Smith had a problem with the technical foul and he made it known when he paused the segment to address the call.
“I’m gonna call the league office today,” Smith declared. “Who the hell is paying to see the referee? That is not a reason to eject Giannis Antetokounmpo from a game. That is ridiculous. That is a disservice to the fans, to the paying customer coming to see them play.”
“I did not know that that was the reason that Giannis Antetokounmpo got ejected from a basketball game. That is not a reason to eject a superstar basketball player who clearly, the paying customer is coming to see,” Smith continued. “For Giannis Antetokounmpo to get ejected for that reason is ridiculous.”
Adam Silver attempts to please the NBA’s TV Dealers by preaching the importance of the leagues stars playing in regular season games. I get it, the referee was just doing his job. However, an ejection like that to Giannis, one of the leagues biggest stars, is a disservice to everyone watching the game, both in-person and on television.
The NBA took its stand against load management this season, implementing a new policy to keep players from sitting out. Though, it makes no sense to emphasize the importance of playing if stars are going to be ejected for acting like a star.
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