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Refs in preseason form, too: Watch Jayson Tatum get ejected for... nothing really

Boston Celtics v Toronto Raptors

MONTREAL, CANADA - OCTOBER 14: Jayson Tatum #0 of the Boston Celtics looks on during a preseason game against the Toronto Raptors on October 14, 2022 at the Bell Centre in Montreal, Québec, Canada. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2022 NBAE (Photo by Jordan Jones/NBAE via Getty Images)

NBAE via Getty Images

It’s the preseason for the referees, too. We need to cut them a little slack as they adjust to officiating a fast-paced and emotional sport.

For example, there will be a teaching moment for Monty McCutchen, the NBA’s Head of Referee Development and Training, out of the strange ejection of Jayson Tatum from the Celtics preseason game Friday night. Tatum was guarding the Raptors’ Scottie Barnes on a drive and didn’t like a foul call, waived his arm a little (the kind of thing that happens on every play), the referee gave Tatum a ridiculous technical and things spiraled from there into three straight techs on the Celtics. You can tell how odd things are by how both the ESPN and Boston announcing crews are just confused by the whole thing.

The first technical was a thin-skinned one for Tatum’s reaction to the foul (his second of the game, he was gone). The second technical was a delay of game for Tatum not leaving the floor, although that one is just odd because everyone is confused about what is happening. The third went to Grant Williams, and what did he say to the ref to earn that?

After the game, the Celtics also tried to make it a teachable moment, with Jaylen Brown saying they need to control their emotions. But mostly, this whole situation was unwarranted. If what Tatum did is a disrespect technical, it’s going to be a long season. Let the players express some emotion.

Ultimately, it’s preseason, so whatever. Toronto went on to win in OT, 137-134, in case you bet on the game (not sure why else anyone cares about the outcome of a preseason game). The Raptors OG Anunoby led all scorers with 32, while Jaylen Brown had an impressive game and scored 23 to lead Boston (Derrick White also had 23).

Malcolm Brogdon left the game early with a sore right leg and did not return for Boston, although after the game word was it was nothing serious.