No need to go see an eye doctor; you’re reading that headline correctly. New York Knicks big man Andrea Bargnani was ejected from Thursday’s game against the Brooklyn Nets for trash-talking Kevin Garnett.
Although KG has carved out a reputation as one of the premier NBA trash talkers, Bargnani earned some street cred for not backing down from the intimidating veteran.
The matchup between these two Eastern Conference cellar dwellers was chippy throughout, but the action came to a tipping point during the following fracas between Bargnani and Garnett, which led to technical fouls for each player:
After that exchange, Bargnani drained a three-pointer from the baseline over KG and was immediately given a second technical and ejected by referee Joey Crawford for his actions toward Garnett:
Of course it was Crawford making the call, because he clearly still believes that the fans in attendance regularly buy tickets to see him steal the show.
Bleacher Report’s own Ethan Norof weighed in on Twitter:
I do not enjoy watching Joey Crawford. He makes the game about him, and that’s just weak.— Ethan Norof (@Mr_Norof) December 6, 2013
Although seeing Crawford make a sketchy call provided a “ho-hum” moment, the true story was Bargnani's actions. Tweets rolled out in force after the ejection, and there were some gems:
Everything I've ever said about Bargs still holds but he trash talked KG and kinda almost fought him so retire his jersey.— netw3rk (@netw3rk) December 6, 2013
Paul Flannery of SB Nation pointed out that we might be living in the Bizarro World:
Andrea Bargnani ejected for trash talking Garnett. Everything we've ever known is a lie.— Paul Flannery (@Pflanns) December 6, 2013
Gary Washburn of The Boston Globe quipped:
Bargnani gets tossed after some trash talk to Garnett following a jumper in his face. When Andrea Bargnani is getting the best of you....— gary washburn (@GwashburnGlobe) December 6, 2013
Zach Lowe of Grantland had the following from Garnett after the game:
KG on Bargnani trash talk: "I don't understand Italian."— Zach Lowe (@ZachLowe_NBA) December 6, 2013
KG may not understand Italian, but per Peter Botte of the New York Daily News, Bargnani stated he was not speaking his native language. That prompted Matt Moore of CBS Sports to chime in:
RT @PeterBotte: What did Bargnani say to get ejected? Garnett: "I don't speak Italian." Bargnani: "I wasn't speaking Italian." GOAT— Matt Moore CBS (@MattMooreCBS) December 6, 2013
Bargnani finished the game with 16 points in 28 minutes, while Garnett totaled just six points in the Knicks' 113-83 romp over the Nets in Brooklyn.