Wizards guard Isaiah Thomas was ejected less than two minutes into Washington’s game against the Trail Blazers on Friday night for pushing an official. Thomas had gotten tied up by Portland’s Carmelo Anthony and appeared to stumble into official Marat Kogut.
Did Thomas really deserve to be ejected by Kogut? After a video review, a technical foul and ejection were upheld.
Thomas had brought the ball up court along the right sideline while defended by Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard. As Thomas dribbled toward the wing, Anthony trapped Thomas, who pivoted toward the sideline.
Anthony was able to get his hands on the ball and tussled with Thomas. The two stumbled toward the sideline, where Thomas put up his right hand and made contact with Kogut, who then lost his balance and wound up in the front row with fans.
Kogut immediately signaled a technical foul on Thomas, following with two emphatic waves for an ejection.
Upon further review, it certainly appeared that Thomas not only raised his right arm as he stumbled toward Kogut, but gave the official a less-than-gentle push in the chest.
“He made physical contact with the referee,” referee Mark Ayotte said in a pool report. “It was definitely just a push during the dead ball contact with the referee.”
Wizards coach Scott Brooks thought the contact was accidental.
“I mean I had a different view of it obviously,” he said. “They were in a scrum and they were fighting for the ball, a jump ball. I had a view that it looked like he lost his balance but (Kogut) had a better view and then they looked at it. They looked at it so you would hope they made the right call.”
Thomas, who was given a two-game suspension earlier this season for confronting two fans in the stands, wasn’t in the locker room after the game.
“I didn’t really pay much attention to the contact and I was standing right there,” said Lillard, who scored 35 points to lead the Trail Blazers to a 122-103 victory. “I thought he just fell into him. And that was it. They reviewed it and they kind of stood their ground on it. So I guess what they thought happened, happened.”
Internet and wire reports contributed to this story.