Despite towering over referee David Jones and having 30+ years on him, Toronto Raptors forward Amir Johnson lost their little game of tug of war Monday night.
Following a made free throw from Trailblazers forward J.J. Hickson, Jones grabbed the ball after it hit the floor. For some reason, Johnson felt like he needed to caress the ball, so tried to grab it from the official. I understand players feeling the need to touch the game ball before the opening tip, but with 5:01 left in the third quarter and after taking six shots and grabbing four rebounds, the need to feel up the ball should have subsided.
Nevertheless, Johnson and Jones got into a little tug of war which Johnson won (for a moment) as Jones started to walk away. But the 18-year official came back with the hammer – giving Johnson an early exit to the showers.
Johnson said afterwards, “I guess the ref didn’t let me have the ball so we kind of got into a tug of war. No words were really said and he rejected me out of the game and I kind of lost my cool from there.”
Rejected out of the game, huh? I guess that gave him reason to toss his mouth guard at Jones, which Johnson later admitted was “childish.”