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Sonics’ Payton Tossed From Game

January 25, 2000

NEW YORK (AP) _ Gary Payton was ejected by referee Ted Bernhardt and had to be restrained by his teammates during the first quarter of Seattle’s game Monday night against the New York Knicks.

Payton drew a technical foul for arguing after he was called for a personal foul while defending Latrell Sprewell with 1:28 left. After the technical foul shot, Payton continued to talk to Bernhardt near center court, with both men smiling at one point in their conversation.

But seconds after Payton turned and walked away, Bernhardt called another technical and tossed Payton out. Payton took off after Bernhardt and had to be held back.

It was the second ejection of the season for Payton, who has been called for 14 technical fouls this season _ second in the league behind Rasheed Wallace of Portland with 16.

Payton was ejected from a game against Philadelphia on Dec. 26 when he kicked the scorer’s table after fouling Allen Iverson with nine seconds left in the game.

On Sunday, Payton ripped his teammates by calling them ``old ladies″ and saying they were playing soft and weren’t hustling.

``Gary’s our captain, we’re going to listen to what he says _ and what he said is probably right,,″ teammate Chuck Person said. ``We have been complacent for a stretch, and that’s what happens when you have a young team with a lot of guys that haven’t been together that long.

Said teammate Greg Foster: ``We use it as constructive criticism. Some guys need wake-up calls, including myself. Everybody just has to take it upon themselves to play harder and fill their roles better.″

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