Milwaukee Bucks star forward Giannis Antetokounmpo was ejected from Wednesday night’s game against the Detroit Pistons. Antetokounmpo was tossed by rule after receiving his second technical foul in the third quarter.

Rodney Mott, the crew chief Wednesday night, explained both plays that led to the Bucks star’s ejection during the pool report after the game.

“On the play, Giannis drives to the basket and he thinks he gets fouled,” Mott said. “Then he approaches the game official and uses profanity, which is an unsportsmanlike technical foul and was issued at that time.”

After that play, which occurred in the second quarter, Antetokounmpo apparently celebrated excessively following a highlight dunk.


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“After the dunk Giannis turns to his opponent and taunts him and a taunting technical foul was called, an unsportsmanlike,” Mott said. “And he was ejected from the game, per rule, because two unsportsmanlike technical fouls, you are ejected from the game.”

Many on social media expressed frustration with the referees’ decisions during and after the game, arguing that one or both of the calls were unnecessary. The taunting call, specifically, has sparked a debate about the league’s current rules about taunting. The celebration did not seem drastically different from similar examples that were not penalized. Some fans have argued that the call should not have been made at all, especially with Antetokounmpo facing an ejection.

Even though Anentokounmpo’s night ended early, he still managed to score 15 points with nine rebounds and five assists. Newly acquired point guard Damian Lillard led the way with 34 points and carried the team the rest of the way to a 120-119 victory.

“We felt there was a lot of questionable calls,” center Brook Lopez said after the game. “You got to fight through that. The way Giannis got kicked out, we obviously don’t think that was great or correct. But whatever. We turned it into a positive. It sucked not to have him out there. But it was a great opportunity for us to play pretty much solely with Dame. Get him more used to us, get used to him and all other guys.”

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