Garnett Tossed for Tossing Ball Into Crowd
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) _ Minnesota Timberwolves forward Kevin Garnett was ejected in the third quarter against Memphis on Sunday for tossing the ball into the stands and accidentally hitting a fan.
Garnett was reacting in frustration after being called for an offensive foul.
``I just tossed it,″ Garnett said outside Minnesota’s locker room before leaving the arena at the start of the fourth quarter. ``I didn’t even look at where I tossed it. I was just so ... mad.″
With Minnesota leading 64-61 with 7:47 left in the quarter, Garnett was called for the foul while driving against Shane Battier on the baseline. The nine-time All-Star then lightly flipped the ball into the stands under the basket, hitting the male fan.
Garnett said he didn’t intend to throw the ball into the stands, but rather was trying to get a delay-of-game call.
``By no means was I trying to hit a fan,″ he said.
Referee Bob Delaney assessed Garnett a technical foul for tossing the ball, and he was automatically ejected because it hit the fan. Afterward, Garnett walked over to the fan to apologize before leaving the court.
Medical personnel examined the fan, who later walked with his family and arena personnel to a back room. The fan declined to comment to the media. His condition wasn’t immediately available, although he appeared to be uninjured.
Before leaving the arena, Garnett said he again checked in on the family to apologize.
``I should have had a little more control than that,″ Garnett said.
The former league MVP had 17 points, 10 rebounds and seven assists. Eddie Griffin replaced Garnett in the lineup.