Miami Heat big man Dewayne Dedmon was ejected from the stadium in his side’s home game against the Oklahoma City Thunder for throwing a massage gun onto the court.
Yep, a massage gun. Onto the court.
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The veteran became caught up in a heated exchange with coach Erik Spoelstra after being dragged off early in the second quarter.
Dedmon stormed away and hit the massage gun so hard with his hand that it flew all the way to the middle of the court where play was live.
On-court players immediately noticed the errant object being flung onto the court and play had to be interrupted.
ESPN’s Stephanie Ready witnessed the bizarre sequence of events live.
“I was watching during that last stoppage of play during that timeout and Dedmon was having a verbal argument with some of the staff including Caron Butler. Udonis Haslem was trying to step in and calm things down,” she explained.
“I don’t know exactly what escalated the conversation, but it was very heated – I could tell from this distance. When he stormed off, that was what you saw, the result of his frustration with whatever that conversation was.”
Dedmon was ejected from the stadium, leaving an already under-manned Heat side with just eight available players after stars Bam Adebayo, Kyle Lowry, Tyler Herro and Caleb Martin were forced to sit out for varying reasons.
Spoelstra later poured cold water over the incident.
“It’s a regular Tuesday night (EST) for the Miami Heat. We’re in a one-point game and we have some skirmishes on the bench,” he said after the game.
But former NBA coach Stan Van Gundy could hardly believe his eyes when it happened.
“What possessed him to do that?” Van Gundy asked on ESPN.
“I really don’t care if he’s upset – players can get upset. Granted, players can yell at coaches, I don’t have a problem with that in the heat of the moment.
“But especially on a night when you’ve got nine guys, you can’t do this. You can’t do anything to get ejected from the game when you’re already as short-handed as the Heat are. That’s inexcusable.”
Despite Dedmon’s bizarre blow-up and the Heat’s thin bench, the hosts still managed to take a thrilling one-point victory over Aussie Josh Giddey’s Thunder.
Giddey recorded his sixth NBA triple-double in the 112-111 loss to the Heat, who snuck home after breaking the league record for most consecutive free throws without a miss.
Giddey was typically workman-like under the basket and led all comers for rebounds with 15.
The Australian has improved his shooting in his second NBA season and notably sunk two baskets in quick succession during a 7-0 Thunder run late in the piece.
As the final minute approached, Giddey slung the ball through the key to Aaron Wiggins, who made a lay-up to ensure the 20-year-old would reach double figures for assists and secure the second triple-double of his sophomore season.
Giddey, who last season broke the NBA record for youngest player to score a triple-double, finished with 18 points, 15 rebounds and 10 assists.
The Heat shot at only 39.2 per cent from the field but their precision from the charity stripe had them in the contest; Miami broke the NBA record, set 40 years ago, for most free throws made in a game without a miss.
The Heat sunk 40, one more than the Utah Jazz made against the Portland Trail Blazers in the 1982-83 season, with forward Jimmy Butler contributing 23 of those.
Ironically, it was two missed free throws by the Thunder that helped seal their demise.
The Thunder were up 111-109 with 22.3 seconds on the clock when Kenrich Williams stepped up to the line and missed both his attempts.
Victor Oladipo forced a Thunder turnover and found Butler (35 points, three blocks, four steals), who was fouled as he made the lay-up that tied the game.
The Heat broke the Jazz’s record with the free throw that ensued.
Thunder guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander missed a three-pointer that could have snatched the game back and the Heat held on in the dying seconds.
Earlier, MVP candidate Joel Embiid scored 36 points on his return from foot soreness as the Philadelphia 76ers thrashed the Detroit Pistons 147-116.
Australian Matisse Thybulle managed four points, a block and a steal from limited time on the floor for the Sixers.
Toronto centre Pascal Siakam had 28 points and guard Gary Trent Jr contributed 24 in the Raptors’ 132-120 defeat of the Charlotte Hornets. The loss was the Hornets’ fifth from their last six starts.
– With AAP
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