Miami Heat guard Josh Richardson might be facing punishment from the NBA after he threw one of his shoes into the crowd Sunday night, leading to his ejection.
Richardson was upset about a non-call in the middle of the fourth quarter on his drive to the basket when a collision with Los Angeles Lakers guard Josh Hart wasn’t ruled a foul. When Richardson hit the floor, his left shoe came off, and he angrily displayed it to a referee.
Play resumed, and Richardson was soon whistled for his fifth foul of the game. As Heat coach Erik Spoelstra tried to get Richardson to head to the bench, Richardson fired his footwear into the stands, prompting a technical foul and an ejection from the game.
“I don’t want to talk about it,” Richardson said postgame. “It was a series of events, but I got caught up. ...
“I wasn’t really thinking about much. I was thinking about how frustrated I was. And going forward, I can’t let that happen.”
Spoelstra, who also received a technical foul when Richardson was thrown out, wasn’t happy about the sequence.
“You saw a competitive will come out,” the coach said. “I think probably what you saw more than anything, and I agree with Josh — not throwing the shoe into the stands, that’s unacceptable — but going in for the dunk when it looked like there was some contact there and he lost his shoe.
“From my angle, it looked like there was contact, and that’s where probably the source of the major frustration came from. And also getting our tails handed to us for the majority of the game. It should bring out some kind of emotion out of our guys.”
The Heat were trailing 98-86 at the time, and they wound up losing 113-97. Richardson scored 17 points in 25 minutes.
In 16 games this season, Richardson is averaging 20.4 points, 4.0 rebounds and 3.3 assists. The fourth-year player was a second-round draft pick in 2015 out of Tennessee. He had never previously been ejected from an NBA game.