Golden State Warriors center DeMarcus Cousins was hit with a technical foul in the fourth quarter of Monday night’s game against Charlotte for tossing a shoe off the court.

Warriors’ Cousins Tosses Shoe Vs. Hornets

The Kentucky product is known for his aggression and racking up techs, but the former seems a lot more warranted than the latter in this situation.

With 4 minutes and 51 seconds left in the game, Charlotte Hornets guard Jeremy Lamb‘s shoe popped off near the free throw line. Cousins reached down from the hazard and tossed it off the court, seemingly so nobody would trip over it and get injured. Official Brian Forte blew a whistle and then Cousins, who missed nearly a year after tearing his Achilles tendon while on the New Orleans Pelicans, went to plead his case.

“Next time I’ll just step on the shoe and roll my ankle, break it, tear an Achilles,” Cousins said after the game. “Just leave it out there next time. I guess that’s what they want. I’ll keep that in mind.”

The NBA, known for player empowerment, shot down a player trying to remove a hazard while five All-Stars — Kevin DurantSteph CurryDraymond GreenKemba Walker and Cousins himself —, were on the court. This wasn’t a threat or an attempt to hurt anyone, it was a safety precaution. Imagine if one of those players had rolled their ankle?

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Green stood by his teammate but also said that besides that call the refs were spot on. “I don’t know if I’ve ever seen that,” Green said. “But that’s crazy. It’s sitting in the middle of the floor. I don’t know. We have all these rules for player safety. You can barely contest a shot without getting a foul, but you’re supposed to leave a shoe sitting there. It’s just kind of crazy to me, but it is what it is. I thought Brian Forte reffed a great game tonight, so that’s one call that’s a little questionable. But he was spot on with some calls, so I thought he reffed a great game.”

Though frustrated with the call, Cousins admitted that he was happy to play a season-high 31 minutes after being capped at 25 prior to the All-Star Game. He also had a season-high 24 points on top of 11 rebounds and three blocks.

“This was the happiest he’s looked,” Coach Steve Kerr said about Cousins’ play. “He looked the most comfortable tonight. And he made a couple moves around the hoop where he showed great agility — this is the best he’s looked.”

“I’m more happy about that than the actual game,” Cousins said. “I made sure to give Steve a big hug after this.”

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