He argued the call, pleading for the same treatment on the other end, and got hit with a technical foul. Then, standing at the end of the bench, he waved away the official. A second technical foul came his way.
And just like that, Brown — for the first time in his NBA career — was ejected from the ball game.
Joe Mazzulla said the referees explained to him that the two-time All-Star got hit with the first technical foul because he said, “don’t call that weak @$$ $%#&” in regards to the initial foul. In the pool report on Brown’s ejection, crew chief Mark Lindsay confirmed that the first technical foul was called for the use of profanity toward a game official.
“I’ve been on the NBA sidelines for five years, and I’ve seen players act and say things that are way more disrespectful than that,” Mazzulla said.
Jrue Holiday checked in for Brown after the first technical was called, and Brown, still upset, continued to stand at the end of the bench. The second technical foul was called “for a wave off directed at the official,” Lindsay said.
“I didn’t necessarily see what happened on the second one, but I got a clear explanation for the first one,” Mazzulla said, before pausing and adding, “I’m doing everything I can to not cost myself $25,000.”
NBC Sports Boston’s Briane Scalabrine was incredulous as Brown got kicked out.
“They just booted him? From the bench?” Scalabrine said. “Come on… That’s not — come on, that’s not a second tech. No way. No way. That’s not worth a guy getting thrown out of a game for.”
Brown made clear in his postgame press conference that he didn’t think the ejection was warranted.
“I wish I would’ve gotten my money’s worth,” Brown said. “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. Not some overemotional ref who had a bad day. What I’m most upset about is that I should’ve gotten my $%#@& money’s worth.”
Jaylen Brown REACTS to first career ejection:
“I wish I would have got my money’s worth. I always thought my first career ejection would be something a little more exciting … not some overemotional ref who had a bad day.
— Celtics on CLNS (@CelticsCLNS) December 9, 2023
Brown also clarified that he wasn’t swearing at the referees on either occasion.
“There’s a difference between showing emotion and it being disrespectful or derogatory toward another person,” Brown said. “I don’t think I was directing it toward 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. He called a tech from across the court. That for sure has to do with somebody having their emotions too involved in whatever else is going on, and they’re accessing their power with technical fouls.
Brown added: “I ain’t going to comment on officiating in general. But I am going to comment on this guy tonight. I thought that was BS.”
Brown finished the night with 17 points on 7-13 shooting, 4 assists, a block, and a steal. Despite his ejection, the Celtics were able to regather themselves and pull away with a double-digit victory, after a Josh Hart three-pointer cut the lead to 7 points with six minutes to play.
Mazzulla said the group remained posed and was able to regroup after the ejection.
“It’s easy for everyone to get kind of wacky,” Mazzulla said. “We got some great looks, and we were able to get some stops. It’s a collective approach.”
The win propels the Celtics to a 16-5 record, and a league-best 10-0 record at home. And, it marks a career milestone for Jaylen — just not one he had hoped for.
“It was a clear example of somebody trying to exercise their power to try to get somebody thrown out of the game,” Brown said of the referee who ejected him. “It is what it is. We got the win.”