The Memphis Grizzlies suffered another disappointing loss on Monday to the New York Knicks, a team that they had taken to overtime just a couple of weeks ago. The loss dropped them back down to .500 with a 32-32 record and the Grizzlies’ hopes to achieve a 6-seed in the Western Conference Playoffs are slowly dwindling away.
That said, the Grizzlies weren’t necessarily expected to win this game, as the Knicks are arguably the hottest team in the league. They have now won 12 of their past 13 games, a stretch that began with the aforementioned overtime win against the Grizzlies.
But the final score isn’t the memorable headline from Monday night’s game. Rather, this game would be remembered from a pair of late-game ejections.
Memphis Grizzlies HC Taylor Jenkins and Ja Morant were tossed from the game
With just over a minute left in the game, the Grizzlies were down by seven points when Ja Morant drove to the basket. He would find contact, but wouldn’t hear a whistle for a foul. This upset Morant, who would throw his hands up, questioning why a foul wasn’t called.
For those wondering, it was a clear foul.
More importantly, though, it upset head coach Taylor Jenkins, who was screaming for a foul on the sideline. He would receive a technical foul before exiting the court, continuing to yell about the poor officiating. This was a positive for Jenkins, whose competitive nature has been questioned recently. He looked like he truly cared about getting a win.
He was gone and the Knicks would go on to score a layup, lengthening the lead. On the other end, Dillon Brooks would pick up a technical foul for complaining to the officials about the same call. He was nagging the officials but likely earned the technical due to his reputation as an argumentative player.
But the part after this was upsetting to watch as a fan of the NBA.
After Dillon Brooks received a technical, Morant would approach an official to have a conversation. The conversation wouldn’t go anywhere, as he would immediately be ejected from the game. For nothing.
After the game, Morant would go after the official on Twitter, which will likely lead to a fine from the NBA. Here is his tweet.
Morant’s tweet mentions a threat made by an official. The official would deny this after the game, but it seems out of character for the 21-year old star to simply make it up. There’s more to the story here.
A lot of fans will probably believe that Ja Morant shouldn’t have tweeted this, but I believe that he made the right call. The officiating on his drives to the paint has been absolutely terrible in late-game situations all season long and this was a prime example of that. When taken to task about poor officiating, the referees simply ejected anybody who didn’t like their call.
The NBA is getting softer and softer in terms of officiating. Hopefully, this situation will open the NBA’s eyes to what is happening right in front of them.