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Kevin Durant should have been ejected on Friday night at the Barclays Center.
Somehow, even with officials admitting afterward that they made a mistake, the Brooklyn Nets star was allowed to stay in the game.
Durant, midway through the third quarter of their 105-98 win over the Indiana Pacers on Friday, drew a foul and suddenly threw the ball into the stands.
Per NBA rules, that action warrants an automatic ejection.
Kevin Durant launches ball into stands and isn’t ejected pic.twitter.com/kriBGtZ9oy
— hoops bot (@hoops_bot) October 30, 2021
Durant was assessed just a technical foul, something officials later admitted was a mistake.
“In real time, the official that made the call did not think the ball entered the stands with force,” crew chief Sean Wright said after the game. “After seeing the video postgame, we did see that the ball did go into the stands with force and Kevin Durant should have been ejected.”
The league announced on Saturday afternoon that it had fined Durant $25,000 for the incident.
Durant finished with 22 points, 11 rebounds and seven assists in the Nets’ win while shooting 7-of-10 from the field.
Naturally, Pacers coach Rick Carlisle wasn’t happy Durant stayed in the game, and he let the officials have it.
Though he declined to reveal the explanation he was given on the court after the game, Carlisle described the situation as embarrassing.
— Alex Golden (@AlexGoldenNBA) October 30, 2021
“I’m not going to share the explanation because I don’t want to embarrass the officials. I don’t want to embarrass the league. I just don’t,” Carlisle said. “These guys are nice guys, and they just made a big error.
“The league will address it. You don’t want to hear the explanation. At this point, it doesn’t matter because it's not going to change the outcome, but it’s something that is a significant thing that … it just can’t be messed with.”