Raptors forward Amir Johnson was ejected from Monday night's game against the Trail Blazers after getting into an unusual argument with a referee.
As Portland's J.J. Hickson swished the first of two free throws late in the third quarter, both Johnson and referee David Jones went to retrieve the ball. Jones grabbed it off one bounce but all of the sudden, Johnson began arguing with him and tried ripping the ball out of his hands. Jones appeared to say something back to the 6'9 veteran. He then let go of the ball and tossed Johnson out of the game.
If that didn't get David Stern's attention, what happened next probably did.
Johnson started to walk towards Jones and was immediately restrained by teammate Mickael Pietrus. As Pietrus fought hard to hold him back, Johnson threw his mouthpiece at Jones.
Following the Raptors' fifth straight loss, Johnson spoke to reporters about the incident and explained that it was out of character of him to lose his composure like he did.
"Pretty much what happened was before every free throw, I always go and rub the ball and give it back to the ref I guess the ref didn't let me have the ball. So we kind of got into a tug-of-war. No words were really said. From then on he ejected me from the game and I kind of lost my cool," he said while insisting nothing was said between him and Jones.
Johnson also called the struggled over the ball with Jones "childish" on both their parts.
UPDATE: Amir Johnson was suspended by the NBA for one game without pay for throwing his mouthpiece at referee David Jones.
More from the Associated Press:
PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Toronto's Amir Johnson has been ejected from a game against the Portland Trail Blazers for arguing with an official.
Johnson had words with referee David Jones while trying to take the ball from him following a Portland free throw. After Johnson was ejected, he threw his mouthpiece at Jones.
Fellow players had to restrain Johnson before he was escorted from the floor on Monday night.
Johnson, a reserve forward/center, is averaging 7.3 points and 5.4 rebounds this season.