Ivan Johnson flips off a Boston Celtics fan following Atlanta’s Game 6 defeat (PHOTO)
Atlanta Hawks forward Ivan Johnson enjoyed a solid rookie season this year, working with good touch on the interior and a low center of gravity to average 6.5 points and four rebounds a night with his team, playing 16.7 minutes per game. That production fell off quite a bit in the postseason, as the 28-year-old rookie missed 11 of 16 shots in five games before registering a "Did Not Play — Coach's Decision" in Atlanta's series-deciding Game 6 loss on Thursday. And, as you can see above, the rookie with the veteran's age did not take the mature veteran's approach in responding to the effusive nature of your typically rambunctious Celtics fan.
That is to say, "he flipped a dude off."
Johnson has, somewhat famously, done this before. He was banned for life from the Korean Basketball League he called home from 2008-2010, for flipping off a referee. And though Ivan is unlikely to receive anything more than a fine for this particular infraction, we would wish to impress upon him that it probably is time to retire the move. Not so much because that fan (or, potentially, that referee) didn't deserve the gesture, but because nobody likes to be pigeonholed as having just one go-to move in response to your detractors, no bird pun intended. We at Ball Don't Lie hope Ivan spends his offseason both working on his conditioning and variations on his retort themes.
(Original picture courtesy Austin Espinoza, and the fabulous Photoshop work is courtesy your man Dan Devine.)