Bye-bye, Larry. Again. (AP/Alex Brandon)
When Larry Sanders got himself ejected during the closing stages of last Wednesday's loss to the Washington Wizards, his sarcastic triple-thumbs-up response gave the heave-ho a somewhat jovial feel that kind of took the edge off a double-digit defeat at the hands of a lottery team. But when the Milwaukee Bucks forward/center got tossed again during the fourth quarter of Friday night's loss to the streaking and soaring Miami Heat, it was no laughing matter for interim Bucks head coach Jim Boylan ... and NBA executive vice president of basketball operations Stu Jackson didn't find Sanders' postgame pop-off too funny, either.
Sanders' kettle started steaming with just over three minutes left and Miami holding an 11-point lead. After receiving a pass from teammate Ersan Ilyasova, Sanders was pinned against the baseline by Heat defender LeBron James; Sanders elevated for a layup, which missed and was rebounded by Chris Bosh, but Sanders felt he'd been fouled, and let referees Michael Smith and Olandis Poole know as much as he headed back down the court. On the ensuing Miami possession, Sanders wound up switched onto James at the 3-point line on the left wing; sensing a mismatch, James drove to the basket and attempted a short leaning jumper, which Sanders tried to block, knocking James to the floor and earning a foul call of his own.
This compounded Sanders' anger at the perceived no-call on the other end, so he stepped his griping up a notch, which netted him a technical foul. This, of course, only further incensed the 24-year-old shot-blocker, who continued to complain after the broadcast cut to commercial, resulting in a very quick second technical foul and an automatic ejection — Sanders' second ejection in two games — that took the Bucks' premier interior defender off the floor in the closing stages of a game against a team that loves driving to the basket.
After Sanders had picked up his 11th technical of the season — that ties him for seventh-most in the league and puts him within five T's of the automatic one-game suspension triggered by a player's 16th tech — and his league-leading fourth ejection of the year, Boylan promised to have "a serious discussion with Sanders about his on-court behavior," according to Bucks beat writer Charles F. Gardner of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel:
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