NBA Ref Offers Weak Explanation For Ejecting LeBron James


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Kane Fitzgerald made NBA history on Tuesday night when he became the first official with the balls to toss LeBron James from a game—and he apparently didn’t even need that much ammo to justify giving the four-time MVP the heave.

Mostly, Fitzgerald took offense to LeBron’s swinging his arm in the air and using big-boy words.

“It was a culmination of a couple [of] different acts,” Fitzgerald told reporters after the game. “Immediately after the no-call, he turned and threw an air punch directly at me, and then he aggressively charged at me, and then he used vulgarity in my ear a few times.”

The gall. The humanity. For how many seasons should LeBron be suspended for uttering words that can be used no more than once in a PG-13 movie?

Fitzgerald also admitted that he hadn’t hit LeBron with two technicals, which earn an automatic ejection. He’d administered one before deciding to toss the Cleveland Cavaliers star from his squad’s 108-97 victory over the Miami Heat.

“I actually only did assess one technical,” said Fitzgerald, in his eighth season as an NBA official. “He was ejected on one technical foul.”

His explanation didn’t fly with some.

Did anything before the confrontation contribute to the ejection?

“No, nothing at all.”

Connoisseurs of the early days of the NBA G-League (then the D-League) might have seen this coming. Before joining the NBA ranks in 2010-11, Fitzgerald was a ref in the league’s minors, where he once administered five technicals in a single game, including three at once.