Miami Heat veteran Dewayne Dedmon is facing calls to be cut from the NBA team after throwing a massage gun on the ground reported dispute with head coach Erik Spoelstra. The 33-year-old was kicked out of school Heat meets Oklahoma City Thundera game in which they would only just prevail.
Dedmon was kicked out early in the second quarter, seemingly outraged by an early bench press. When he went to the bench, he was seen arguing not only with Spoelstra but also with several assistant coaches. He then hit a chair so hard that the massage gun sitting on it flew onto the court mid-game.
CRICKET OR BASKETBALL: What would you watch on Christmas Day?
BOOM: Ben Simmons defiant NBA performance to hostile 76ers crowd
Fans highlighted a defensive play for the Heat, giving up an easy layup against the Thunder as a potential catalyst for Dedmon’s bench press. However, everyone was confused as to what happened next, with ESPN analyst Stan van Gundy calling the incident “inexcusable”.
His ejection left the already shorthanded Heat with another player as the Josh Giddey-led Thunder gave them a real fight for their money on their home court. The Heat eventually earned a 112-111 win out of the contest.
“I really don’t care if he’s upset – players can get upset. Granted, players can yell at coaches, I don’t mind that in the heat of the game,” said Van Gundy.
“Especially on a night when you have nine people, you can’t do that. There’s nothing you can do to get kicked out of the game when you’re already undermanned like the Heat. That is unforgivable.”
ESPN sideline reporter Stephanie Ready explained that other Heat veterans tried to defuse the situation before the massage gun went flying in frustration. Dedmon, a 10-year NBA veteran, has played for seven different teams.
“I was watching during that last break in play during this time off and Dedmon had a verbal argument with some of the staff including Caron Butler. Udonis Haslem tried to step in and calm things down,” Ready reported.
“I don’t know exactly what the conversation escalated to, but it was very heated – I could see it from this distance. As he stormed off, what you saw was the result of his frustration with whatever this conversation was about.”
Miami Heat outlasts OKC despite ejection, Josh Giddey blast
Giddey, who broke the NBA record for youngest player with a triple-double last season, finished the tournament with 18 points, 15 rebounds and 10 assists. The Heat shot just 39.2 percent from the field, but their precision from the charity strip had them in contention; Miami broke the NBA record for most free throws in a game without a miss, set 40 years ago.
The Heat sank 40, one more than the Utah Jazz in the 1982-83 season against the Portland Trail Blazers, with forward Jimmy Butler contributing 23 of those. Ironically, it was the Thunder’s two missed free throws that sealed their downfall.
The Thunder were 111-109 with 22.3 seconds on the clock when Kenrich Williams went for a strip and missed both attempts. Victor Oladipo forced a Thunder turnover and found Butler (35 points, three blocks, four steals) who was fouled while making the layup that tied the game.
Previously, MVP candidate Joel Embiid had scored 36 points on his return from sore feet as the Philadelphia 76ers beat the Detroit Pistons 147-116. Australia’s Matisse Thybulle managed four points, a block and a steal from limited time on the floor for the Sixers.
Toronto center Pascal Siakam had 28 points and guard Gary Trent Jr. contributed 24 in the Raptors’ 132-120 loss to the Charlotte Hornets. The loss was the fifth of the Hornets’ last six starts.
Click here to sign up for our newsletter with the latest and breaking stories from Australia and around the world.