The Celtics survived a scare against the shorthanded Philadelphia 76ers at TD Garden on Friday following Jayson Tatum’s third-quarter ejection, but the Boston star wanted to set the record straight about his off-character night.
Tatum was called for a flagrant one after catching Robert Covington with an inadvertent elbow. The All-NBA forward wasn’t happy with the call, and the referees also weren’t pleased with Tatum’s actions and issued him his second technical foul, which ejected him from the game.
The pool report after the game indicated it was Tatum’s continued arguing and not going back to the Celtics bench that earned him a technical foul and not something specific he did or said. The ejection “shocked” the Boston star, but head coach Joe Mazzulla was happy with the fire Tatum showed at the moment.
No Matchup Found
Click here to enter a different Sportradar ID.
Story continues below advertisement
“Again, I wasn’t that (expletive) mad,” Tatum told reporters of his ejection, per NBC Sports Boston. “Don’t put that narrative out there. I didn’t throw nothing. I said what I said. There was no magic words. I didn’t cuss. Assistant coach is right there, he heard me. I don’t know, maybe they didn’t want me to play (Friday). They was eager to get me out of there. And I walked back calmly, sat in my chair, got some ice. I was not mad. I didn’t throw anything. It was like a joke. I had to laugh it off. I didn’t cry and throw anything, got my ice, watched the rest of the game. Watched us win and got ready.”
NBA fans quickly looked back at a tweet from 2014 that Tatum nearly matched word for word. So it appears fans took the Celtics star at his word that he wasn’t mad, which should be a mindset he takes as Boston travels to Indiana for a matchup against the Pacers for the NBA In-Season Tournament quarterfinals.
Featured image via Winslow Townson/USA TODAY Sports Images