Boston Celtics

Jan 8, 2020; Boston, Massachusetts, USA; Boston Celtics head coach Brad Stevens reacts after guard Kemba Walker (8) gets ejected from the game during the second half against the San Antonio Spurs at TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports

By Matt Dolloff,

Kemba Walker and the Celtics got a heavy-handed punishment in Wednesday’s game against the Spurs, at the hands of a young, inexperienced official. And president of basketball ops Danny Ainge seems to agree with pretty much everyone else, that Walker’s ejection was a rash decision by official Evan Scott.

Ainge was asked about the surprising ejection during his weekly call with Toucher & Rich on Thursday. Walker took a hard foul from the Spurs’ LaMarcus Aldridge that was not called, then got up and protested the non-call to Scott, who handed him a technical foul for his vulgar reaction.

T’ing players up for using profanity toward officials is pretty common in the NBA. But Scott had a quick trigger on a second technical, which ejected Walker from the game. Ainge believed Scott essentially gave Walker two for the price of one.

“I thought it was quick. I thought that the official reacted emotionally and too quickly,” said Ainge. “Kemba got up and was frustrated without the call [against the Spurs]. He cursed at the official, but it seemed almost as if he was cursing and the cursing was not finished yet when he got the first T.

“And then [Scott] should have just turned and walked away, and then if Kemba comes after him continually, then I understand it. But it just seemed so quick, the second technical and the ejection.”

In a pool report after the game, crew chief Rodney Mott confirmed that the first technical occurred because Walker swore at Scott. He said that Walker received the second technical and ejection because “he continued to use profanity.”

When emotions are running high and players are reacting strongly in a moment, it’s probably best for the official to let those reactions play out. To Ainge’s point, the two technicals occurred so close to each other that it seemed Scott gave Walker a second technical when he wasn’t really done reacting to the situation. For a player who’s typically as professional as Walker, he almost certainly wasn’t demonstrative enough to warrant an ejection.

Listen below for the full interview with Ainge and his reactions to the incident, starting from the beginning of Hour 4 of Toucher & Rich.

Matt Dolloff is a digital producer for Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Have a news tip, question, or comment for Matt? Follow him on Twitter @mattdolloff or email him at