Brooklyn Nets star forward Kevin Durant avoided an ejection on Friday night, but that shouldn’t have been the case. During the third quarter of Brooklyn’s 105-98 victory over the Indiana Pacers, Durant launched the ball into the stands out of frustration. At the time, Durant was hit with a technical foul, but NBA rules stipulate that any player that throws or kicks a ball into the stands with force should be ejected from the contest. Thus, Durant should have been tossed. After the game, crew chief Sean Wright admitted as much.
“In real time, the official that made the call did not think the ball entered the stands with force,” Wright said after the game. “After seeing the video postgame, we did see that the ball did go into the stands with force and Kevin Durant should have been ejected.”
The NBA announced a $25,000 fine for the throw on Saturday. You can see the toss below:
With Durant able to finish the game, the Nets went on to claim the win over Indiana. Pacers coach Rick Carlisle was understandably upset about the missed ejection.
“I think I saw Kevin Durant wind up and throw the ball overhand, 10 or 15 rows into the stands and not get ejected,” Carlisle said, via The Athletic. “I think that’s what I saw. And so that was shocking.
“I’m not going to share the explanation because I don’t want to embarrass the officials,” Carlisle added. “I don’t want to embarrass the league. These guys are nice guys. They just made a big error. The league will address it. You don’t want to hear the explanation. And at this point, it doesn’t matter, because it’s not going to change the outcome. But it’s something that’s a significant thing that just can’t be missed, that’s all.”
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Durant explained that he was actually aiming for the backboard, and didn’t mean to throw the ball into the stands.
“I don’t know, man. I thought I was at the gym by myself and in a pickup game, not an NBA game,” Durant said after the game. “And I can’t do that. I could have cost my team the game. But it won’t happen again — I hope so.
“I didn’t know you could get ejected over that. I’m glad I stayed in the game. I’m sure a hefty fine is coming, but I don’t mind giving.”