NBA referees usually do a pretty good job of keeping games fair. In the sport of basketball, it can be especially hard to keep track of what's happening on the court. All things considered, it's actually impressive that they manage to call games as accurately as they do.
Sometimes, however, certain moments trigger anger and frustration by fans. On Sunday, that's exactly what happened after Pistons rookie Cade Cunningham was ejected from the game.
After slamming down a powerful dunk late into the second half, the youngster was given a technical (his second of the night) for "pointing" at his competitor after the play.
At first glance, the point didn't seem like a hostile act at all, and calling it worthy of a technical foul is certainly questionable. Regardless of the motives for that point, throwing out a player as good and exciting as Cunningham for something like that ruined the game for many fans and it's no surprise they weren't happy.
After the shocking ejection, NBA Twitter was buzzing with reactions from angry spectators.
Essentially, Cunningham got ejected for pointing and that's a bad call no matter which way you slice it.
After the game, the Pistons star did not match the energy of the fans. Instead, he seemed almost apologetic for the whole situation.
"I had my people right behind the bench," said the rookie, via Detroit Free Press. "I went baseline to dunk the ball, and he’s right in between me and my people. I probably should’ve read that situation better. I don’t really get into taunting too much. Usually I’m chilling after a play. I realized the situation after he tech'ed me up, but I didn’t think I was going to get a tech. I let coach Monty (Williams of the Suns) over there, let him know, 'Good game,' and stuff like that."
This is hardly the first time a star player has fallen victim to a bizarre technical foul. One of the most famous incidents involved Tim Duncan getting thrown out of the game for laughing on the bench.
While this situation will be quickly forgotten, it is a reminder that officials aren't perfect and that no player is immune from a misunderstanding with the ref.
Hopefully, Cunningham can stay out of "trouble" for the foreseeable future.