In the fourth quarter of Boston's 133-123 win over the New York Knicks, Brown was called for a reach-in foul against Immanuel Quickley, his fifth of the game, and immediately showed frustration as he walked toward the Celtics' sideline. Brown then approached one of the officials, pointing in his direction while speaking sternly, and was given a technical foul. As he made his way to the bench during the ensuing free throw, Brown continued arguing and was hit with another technical, resulting in an automatic ejection.
Brown stayed on the court to plead his case, but eventually made his way to the locker room.
Confused about the reason for the ejection, Brown, who finished with 17 points and four assists in 27 minutes, voiced his opinion after the game.
"I always thought my first-career ejection would be something a little more exciting -- maybe a tussle or something, guys get folded up, go to the ground," Brown explained. "Not some overemotional ref who had a bad day. What I'm most upset about is I should've gotten my f---ing money's worth.
"I think it's a difference between showing emotion and it being disrespectful or derogatory towards another person. I don't think I was directing it towards him whatsoever, especially on the second one, it wasn't even close. I'm on the bench, I'm talking from the sideline. He can't even hear anything I'm saying. So he called the tech from across the court. That's for sure, [having] to do with somebody having their emotions too involved in whatever else is going on and they're assessing their power with technical fouls.
"I ain't gonna comment on officiating in general, but I am gonna comment on this guy in particular tonight. I thought that was bulls--t."
Crew chief Mark Lindsay said after the game that Brown was assessed his first technical for "use of profanity toward a game official" and his second for "a wave off directed at the official which under the respect of the game guidelines is considered an overt gesture and an unsportsmanlike act."
Celtics head coach Joe Mazzulla shared the explanation he was given, which was that Brown had said to the official, "Don't call that weak ass s--t" The Boston coach expectedly backed his All-Star forward after the game.
"I've been on the sidelines in the NBA for five years and I've seen players act and say things that are way more disrespectful than that," Mazzulla said. "I'm doing everything I can not to cost myself $25,000."
While Mazzulla may have saved his bank account from a big hit, the same will likely not be the case for Brown due to his remarks. The most recent Memphis Grizzlies coach Taylor Jenkins, who was fined $25,000.came in mid-November from
Brown's delivery was much calmer, but the NBA does not take kindly to players publicly criticizing officials, particularly when they suggest that personal emotions were involved. At least the Celtics won the game, so we don't need to worry about a questionable ejection affecting a result, though.