Dwight Howard was ejected from Game 4 between the Los Angeles Lakers and San Antonio Spurs at Staples Center after receiving his second technical foul, had some words with Lakers GM Mitch Kupchak, and then Kobe Bryant emerged to a hero’s applause.
With the Lakers down 55-34 in the third quarter, Howard got tangled with Aron Baynes. He appeared to be upset about not getting a call and he must have said something to an official to earn a technical foul. Howard was automatically ejected because it was his second technical of the game.
Following the ejection, two interesting things happened.
As Howard exited the court, he passed by Kupchak, who was hanging out by the tunnel to the locker room. Kupchak went to give him a pat on the behind, and Howard turned around and said something as he passed by. It was unclear what the nature of Howard’s comments were, but he seemed upset and may have been complaining about the officials:
Then — and you can’t make this up — Kobe Bryant came out to the Lakers bench on crutches, receiving a big applause in the process. It was his first time joining the team on the bench during a game since he was lost for the season with a torn Achilles’ tendon. Maybe Kobe just didn’t want to be in the locker room with Dwight.
It didn’t take long for Kobe to get into his coaching mode. He began yelling at the Lakers pretty quickly:
The Lakers’ defeat was eerily similar to the way they exited the playoffs two years ago. The team got swept out of the playoffs by the Dallas Mavericks, and they went down with Andrew Bynum ejected for a cheap shot on JJ Barea. This time around, the Lakers got swept out of the playoffs, and it was another big man thrown out of the game.
Some are speculating that this may have been Dwight’s final game with the Lakers now that he is headed to free agency.
Videos via @BlazersEdgeGoogle+