INDIANAPOLIS – Milwaukee Bucks head coach Adrian Griffin was ejected from the game against the Indiana Pacers after receiving a technical foul 7-minutes, 52-seconds into the third quarter.
After Cameron Payne was sent down the court on a drive, Griffin heated up to the officiating crew and Giannis Antetokounmpo tried to hoist a basket after pulling down an offensive rebound. Antetokounmpo eventually dunked the ball, but Griffin said enough to make the toss.
“The first technical foul was the obvious reaction to not calling Giannis Antetokounmpo,” team president Kevin Cutler said in a pool statement. “The second is for profane contempt of an official and two technical fouls as per the rule, which is an automatic ejection.”
Griffin said, “We had a disagreement. It was really physical. I thought Giannis was getting hit a little bit, and I made my point. Next time I’ll do it (in) a little more subtlety.”
It was Griffin’s first ouster as a head coach. Assistant coach Joe Brundi took over the head coaching duties from there.
On Wednesday night, Antetokounmpo was ejected after picking up two technical fouls against Detroit, and Griffin said he needs to do a better job advocating for his players.
“I feel responsible, sometimes, to be vocal,” Griffin said after the Pacers game. “Obviously it’s your voice choice and you have to be mindful of that. But it’s my responsibility to make sure he’s protected there. There were two hard fouls on him. One was almost back-side, one. It wrapped around his back, around his neck. The next was a two-handed push on the chicken’s back. So, I wanted to protect him there, that’s all.
Antetokounmpo said he and Griffin talked about the ejection after the Pistons game, and the Bucks star appreciated his coach wanting to speak up for his players.
“People who have my back once, I have their back a thousand times,” Antetokounmpo said. “As a player, it’s always good to feel like your coach has your back.
“I know he’s got my back. And I try my best to have his back. I hope, I hope — I don’t know how many free throws I shot today — but I; you look at the game. I believe there’s more contact than I’m called. .
“Sometimes I feel like guys are going to the free throw line for less contact than I got. Sometimes guys pull me. Sometimes I don’t realize it, that’s the crazy part. I’ll go and watch film, me and me. This guy is really pulling my body back. But I Not failing. I’m trying to power up, trying to lead the league in ‘and-ones.’
“So at the end of the day the coaching staff, head coach ‘Griff,’ he’s looking at things like, ‘You gotta call it.’ “My teammates’ backs, the team’s back. We’ll do it better to have his back when we need him the most.”
Further:Giannis Antetokounmpo in the third quarter vs. The Pistons were ejected after a ferocious dunk
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