Nikola Jokić and the Denver Nuggets made their lone trip of the season to Little Caesars Arena on Monday night for a game against the Detroit Pistons. It was a short night for Jokić, something Detroit play-by-play man George Blaha voiced his displeasure about.
Jokić felt that he was fouled late in the second quarter and when play stopped, he protested the no-call to official Tre Maddox. Maddox quickly assessed Jokić with a technical foul, his second of the game, prompting an ejection.
Blaha didn’t immediately realize that Jokić had been assessed a second technical. But once that became clear, Blaha did not offer a homer take.
“Let me tell you this, these fans did not come here to see Curtis Blair, Tre Maddox or Andy Nagy, whoever they are,” Blaha said, naming the game’s three officials.
Color commentator Greg Kelser didn’t comment on Jokić’s ejection, but did share a similar feeling regarding a recent game between the Pistons and Milwaukee Bucks, when Giannis Antetokounmpo was ejected.
“You know, I felt the same way when Giannis Antetokounmpo got ejected in Milwaukee for kind of flexing after he made a dunk,” Kesler said.
Nikola Jokić was ejected from Monday night's game against the Pistons, and Detroit play-by-play man George Blaha had choice words for the officials after it.
"Let me tell you this, these fans did not come here to see Curtis Blair, Tre Maddox or Andy Nagy, whoever they are. pic.twitter.com/lD8t8GdXRb
— Awful Announcing (@awfulannouncing) November 21, 2023
It’s refreshing to hear this kind of talk from opposing team’s announcers.
No professional sports league is as star driven as the NBA. It’s why load management days have long been a source of controversy and why the league has started to take steps to prevent those from happening. But the same message needs to be shared to the officials.
That does not mean that star players should be able to get away with doing or saying anything. But officials do need to have thicker skin. It’s hard to imagine that Jokić crossed a serious line in the brief time between beginning his argument and when he was assessed the technical foul.
[Photo Credit: Bally Sports Detroit]