There was no way this deserved to be called a technical foul, let alone a second one that led to an ejection.
Giannis Antetokounmpo already had earned one technical when, three minutes into the second half, he put the Pistons’ Isaiah Stewart in a poster in a transition dunk — it was deserving of the flex and brief stare Antetokounmpo gave Stewart after the throw down. Then Antetokounmpo started running back on defense when referee Scott Twardoski stepped in and hit the Greek Freak with his second technical of the night.
That is a terrible call.
It does not matter if we’re talking about an international superstar or an end-of-the-bench guy in garbage time, that did not rise to the level of a technical foul. Not even close. Let alone the higher bar that should be there for a technical that leads to an ejection.
Basketball at the highest level should be an emotional game played with passion — that’s what we fans want to see. If anything, we need more of that intensity in the game, not less. What are we doing here? Are we going to hit Russell Westbrook up with a technical for rocking the baby, or Stephen Curry when he goes “night night” after a big shot? What about every player who does the “too small” gesture?