Jayson Tatum and referee Phenizee Ransom. Dec 1, 2023; Boston, Massachusetts, USA; Boston Celtics forward Jayson Tatum (0) reacts to having a technical fouled called on him by referee Phenizee Ransom (70) during the first quarter at TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports

Friday night’s Philadelphia 76ers-Boston Celtics game saw Celtics’ forward Jayson Tatum pick up his second technical foul and the accompanying ejection near the end of the third quarter. That came after he was called for an offensive foul against the Sixers’ Robert Covington, which was upgraded to a flagrant foul (it included kneeing Covington in the groin). Tatum then was ejected by referees Nick Buchert and Phenizee Ransom while he was in a discussion with officiating crew chief Bill Kennedy:

After the game (which Boston won 125-119), Tatum had plenty to say to reporters on how he didn’t feel he deserved that technical. Here’s some of that, via Jared Weiss of The Athletic:

But this led to one really remarkable quote:

As Weiss, Jared Wade, and many others noted, that’s almost exactly a famed tweet from @dril:

Meanwhile, Kennedy spoke to a pool reporter after the game about why Tatum was ejected. Here’s that quote, via ESPN’s Tim Bontemps:

“Following a loose ball foul that was called on Jayson, Jayson continued to complain and was asked multiple times to head to his bench,” Kennedy said. “He continued to complain about the foul called on the floor and overtly gestures toward the officials and was assessed a second technical foul.”

Whether the second technical was deserved or not, Tatum’s “I wasn’t that ******* mad” is an amazing quote. He’s definitely entitled to try and present his case, and to argue that he didn’t say anything worth a further technical (although Kennedy’s quote indicates that wasn’t given for a specific comment, but rather his continued arguing). But the way he did so here is quite something. And it’s remarkable to see a @dril tweet come to life in the NBA.

About Andrew Bucholtz

Andrew Bucholtz has been covering sports media for Awful Announcing since 2012. He is also a staff writer for The Comeback. His previous work includes time at Yahoo! Sports Canada and Black Press.