Sunday, December 10, 2023

Jaylen Brown reacts to his first career ejection, calls referee 'overemotional'

Jaylen Brown didn't mince words on how he felt about his first career ejection in the fourth quarter of the Celtics 133-123 victory over the New York Knicks Friday night.

With 7:19 left to play, Brown was whistled for a reach in foul, to which he argued the call and received his first technical foul. During the same stoppage, Brown now on the bench was hit with a second technical foul and was tossed from the game as loud boos rained down that echoed throughout TD Garden toward officials following the call -- Brown was visibly not happy before heading to the locker room.

According to Celtics coach Joe Mazzulla, Brown was assessed the first technical for saying "don't call that weak ass shit," in regards to the initial reach in foul call. Crew chief Mark Lindsay confirmed that the use of profanity toward a game official was indeed the reason behind the first technical foul -- per the pool report on Brown's ejection.
"I've been on the NBA sidelines for five years, and I've seen players act and say things that are way more disrespectful than that," Mazzulla said in his postgame comments.
Jrue Holiday immediately checked in for Brown following the first technical foul and Brown was still upset while standing at the end of the bench, before the second technical foul was called "for a wave off directed at the official," per Lindsay in the pool report -- leading to Brown being thrown out.
"I didn't necessarily see what happened on the second one, but I got a clear explanation for the first one," Mazzulla said. "I'm doing everything I can to not cost myself $25,000."
Brown, who had 17 points on 7-of-13 shooting (2-of-5 from deep), four assists, a block and a steal prior to being ejected, was still clearly fired up -- telling reporters that the decision the officials ultimately made was definitely not warranted.
"I wish I would've gotten my money's worth," Brown said. "I always thought my first career ejection would be something a little more exciting. Maybe a tussle or something, guys get folded up, go to the ground. Not some overemotional ref who had a bad day. What I'm most upset about is that I should've gotten my fucking money's worth."
Brown also clarified that he didn't curse or use any derogatory language toward any of the referees at any point prior to either technical fouls being issued.
"There's a difference between showing emotion and it being disrespectful or derogatory toward another person," Brown explained. "I don't think I was directing it toward him whatsoever, especially on the second one. It wasn't even close. I'm on the bench, I'm talking from the sideline. He can't even hear anything I'm saying. He called a tech from across the court. That for sure has to do with somebody having their emotions too involved in whatever else is going on, and they're accessing their power with technical fouls.

Brown added: "I ain't going to comment on officiating in general. But I am going to comment on this guy tonight. I thought that was bullshit."
Despite the Knicks rallying to cut a double-digit deficit down to seven following Brown's ejection, the Celtics were able to hold off the visiting team to comfortably grab the win. 

Mazzulla spoke about the team remaining focused after they regrouped in Brown's absence.
"It's easy for everyone to get kind of wacky," Mazzulla said. "We got some great looks, and we were able to get some stops. It's a collective approach."
It's the second time in three games that one of Boston's stars has been tossed, after Jayson Tatum was ejected against the 76ers at home last week. Fortunately, in both cases it only cost them fines as the C's were still able to win on each occasion.
"It was a clear example of somebody trying to exercise their power to try to get somebody thrown out of the game," Brown said of the referee who ejected him. "It is what it is. We got the win."
Brown and the Celtics -- now 16-5 on the season and a league-best 10-0 at home -- will host the Cleveland Cavaliers Tuesday night.   

Joel Pavón

Photo used courtesy of Getty Images

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