ESPN's Jeff Van Gundy and the NBA officials were not on the same page when it came to the scuffle between Oklahoma City's Serge Ibaka and L.A.'s Blake Griffin and Matt Barnes on Wednesday night.
Tempers flared durng the final seconds of the second quarter of a game between Western Conference powers when Ibaka tried to block a shot from Blake Griffin under the basket. Ibaka's arm got caught under Griffin's and the Thunder center shook him off. That, apparently, upset Barnes, who jumped in and shoved Ibaka. A brief scuffle ensued but no punches were thrown.
As the officials restored order on the court, ESPN showed replays of the incident from different angles. At the beginning of the fourth replay, Van Gundy insisted that he had seen enough.
"This is much ado about nothing," JVG said, wondering what Ibaka could have done to avoid an altercation. "Guys are so sensitive now. Every time you like, get a guy off you of you, like guys are just like so sensitive... He's trying to get away. What's the big deal? Nothing happened here."
As ESPN showed further replays, Van Gundy continued.
"This is nothing. How can something like Ibaka trying to get his arm out," Van Gundy said. "We're making this out like this is something. This is nothing. Technical foul on Matt Barnes. Shoot the free throw. Whatever."
The officials thought differently. Ibaka and Barnes were ejected while Griffin was handed a technical foul. Los Angeles was presumably happier with the discipline, considering Barnes had missed all five of his field goal attempts at the time and Ibaka had made all six of his to that point.
Many on Twitter seemed to be in Van Gundy's corner.
Seriously. Barnes or Ibaka should not have been ejected. #Wack
— JALEN ROSE (@JalenRose) November 14, 2013
I agree JVG, much to do about nothing!! Ibaka and Barnes ejected, REALLY?? This league is so soft...
— Reggie Miller (@ReggieMillerTNT) November 14, 2013
All I can figure is that Ibaka got ejected for balling up a fist. Because other than that, what did he do?
— Royce Young (@royceyoung) November 14, 2013
Serge Ibaka got ejected? Wow. So did Matt Barnes.
— Dan Woike (@DanWoikeSports) November 14, 2013
Those were ejections were both awful.
No punches thrown. Pushing. Big deal.
— Jemele Hill (@jemelehill) November 14, 2013
Nobody needs to be ejected for that. Maybe Tyronn Lue just because.
— Dan L (@KnicksFanBlog) November 14, 2013
No way Ibaka should have been ejected, but love Barnes staring at Ibaka down tunnel pic.twitter.com/WXer7uk8JZ
— Cork Gaines (@CorkGaines) November 14, 2013
I can't believe they got ejected for that!!!
— Randall Cobb (@rcobb18) November 14, 2013