The Bulls and Celtics are losing shoes, throwing shoes, tying each other's shoes and getting technicals for it

Many professional athletes are still little kids at heart. In the case of Robin Lopez and Jae Crowder in the third quarter of Game 4 between the Chicago Bulls and Boston Celtics, they’re little kids on the playground getting into a petty argument over somebody’s shoe.

Yes, the best moment of Bulls-Celtics Game 4 at the United Center Sunday night centered around a shoe.

The kerfuffle began when Lopez battled for an offensive rebound. As he won the battle and tipped in a putback, though, he jumped right out of his right shoe. Not something you see all that often, but not a big deal, right?

Wrong.

Remember, these are two kids on the playground. So obviously, Crowder picked up Lopez’s lost shoe and decided to play a little keep-away. He tossed the shoe out of bounds as Lopez reached for it. Lopez retaliated by grabbing Crowder and making sure he wouldn’t get away with the tomfoolery as he went to retrieve his footwear:

But wait! There’s more! Lopez reaches down to pick up the shoe. But he doesn’t reach for his own stray shoe. He reaches for Crowder’s. As Crowder pleads with the ref, Lopez appears to … tie? Or untie? … Crowder’s boot until the Celtics forward notices that pesky little Robin is up to no good:

The referees — AKA spoilers of fun — whistled Crowder for a technical foul for delay of game. That would never happen on the playground.

Naturally, the shoe dispute spurred the Bulls on a run. They took the lead five minutes later after being down double digits earlier in the contest.

But the Celtics regained their footing — pun very much intended. A slick Isaiah Thomas assist to Kelly Olynyk toward the end of the third quarter put Boston back up 10. The only reason Thomas was able to make the pass: He, too, had lost his shoe moments earlier.

The Celtics went on to win, 104-95, and even the series at two games apiece.