It’s been an NBA season marked by trigger-happy technicals, but what happened during Monday’s Martin Luther King Jr. Day matchup between the Brooklyn Nets and the New York Knicks reminded us of one an infamous player-referee rivalry from over a decade ago: Nets point guard D’Angelo Russell got a technical foul for clapping.
He was in street clothes on the bench, as the 21-year-old is recovering from knee surgery.
D’Angelo Russell got a technical on the bench because he was clapping 👏👏👏 pic.twitter.com/Y2IOsiHVA1
— Def Pen Hoops (@DefPenHoops) January 16, 2018
That tech from official Brian Forte was bad, sure. But not nearly as bad as the time veteran official Joey Crawford ejected San Antonio Spurs big man Tim Duncan for laughing on the bench during a game late in the 2006-07 regular season.
According to Duncan, the ref also challenged the Spurs legend to a fight.
(2007) Tim Duncan gets ejected by Joey Crawford for laughing.
“He looked at me and said, ‘Do you want to fight? Do you want to fight?’ If he wants to fight, we can fight. I don’t have any problem with him, but we can do it if he wants to.” – Duncan pic.twitter.com/uSQGS9wL67
— Timeless Sports (@timelesssports_) November 29, 2017
“I would just say to him, if we got down to it,” Crawford said of Duncan in 2016, “the nitty gritty, we are sitting there having a couple of beers, I would say, ‘Hey, I made a mistake.’ But you know what, in reality, I can’t go anywhere without somebody asking me about Tim Duncan. He is known for his great stellar career. I don’t know what I am known for. I guess it’s throwing out Tim Duncan. What are you going to do? It is part of my career. I don’t hold anything against him. It is just part of what happened.”
By comparison, DLo got off light.