The Milwaukee Bucks were able to escape with a 120-118 win over the Detroit Pistons on Wednesday night. It took a big game from Damian Lillard — who scored 34 points on the evening — to get across the finish line, in large part because Giannis Antetokounmpo was ejected early on in the third quarter for picking up his second technical foul on the evening.
The ejection was a bit strange, as all Antetokounmpo did was celebrate a dunk over Isaiah Stewart in a way that’s pretty standard — he flexed a bit then did the “too small” celebration. Any player getting a technical foul for that would be pretty shocking, let alone a player getting ejected for a second technical off of this one. And on Thursday morning’s episode of First Take, Stephen A. Smith made clear that he plans on getting in touch with someone at the league office over this one.
.@stephenasmith says Giannis getting ejected was RIDICULOUS 👀
"I'm going to call the league office today. Who the hell is paying to see the referee? That is not a reason to eject Giannis Antetokounmpo from a game." pic.twitter.com/y84gU3WpKC
— First Take (@FirstTake) November 9, 2023
“I’m gonna call the league office today,” Smith said. “I’m gonna call the league office today. 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. That is ridiculous.”
Smith went on to say that he was unable to watch the game because he was traveling, so he was not aware until later that this was why Antetokounmpo was tossed from the game.
“That is not a reason to eject a superstar basketball player who clearly the paying customer is coming to see,” Smith said. “I know you get him 41 nights a year in the locale that is Milwaukee, I get all of that. Thank God it wasn’t a road game where you only get to see him once or twice a year. But for Giannis Antetokounmpo to get ejected for that reason is ridiculous.”
Stephen A. Smith is right.