That was fast: Angel Reese's 'weak' ejection causes stir


 Angel Reese walks off the floor after being ejected from Tuesday's Sky-Liberty game. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)
Angel Reese walks off the floor after being ejected from Tuesday’s Sky-Liberty game. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)

The New York Liberty cruised to an 88-75 win over the Chicago Sky on Tuesday night.

In the waning minutes with the Liberty firmly in control, Sky rookie Angel Reese drew two quick whistles for her first ejection from a WNBA game. The ejection took place with New York leading, 82-71 and 2:31 remaining. Reese initially drew a whistle for a personal foul while fighting for a rebound. Two subsequent technical whistles quickly followed, and Reese had been ejected from the game.

It happened so fast that the NBATV broadcast initially announced that New York’s Betnijah Laney-Hamilton had been ejected. But it was, in fact, Reese who got tossed.

Replay shows the interaction that prompted the technicals that the live broadcast missed. Referee Charles Watson whistled Reese for the personal foul. Reese briefly protested, then turned her back to Watson with a dismissive hand wave. Watson responded with two technical whistles and an overhead toss gesture signaling that Reese was no longer welcome to play basketball.

Watson then continued to walk to the other side of the court. Reese and her Sky teammates stood, perplexed at what happened. It wasn’t initially clear what Reese said, but it certainly got underneath Watson’s skin.

Play then resumed, and New York held on for the win. Reese finished the game with 13 points, 10 rebounds and two technical fouls. And the WNBA has more to talk about after a busy weekend in the news.

Sky head coach Teresa Weatherspoon told reporters after the game that officials didn’t explain the ejection to her.

“I tried to get an explanation. I did not,” Weatherspoon said. “I don’t know to this moment what has happened.”

Lead official Maj Forsberg told reporters that the first technical issued to Reese was for “disrespectfully addressing” Watson. The second was because of the Reese’s hand wave.

Reese didn’t speak with reporters after the game. But her ejection caught the attention of a fellow Chicago basketball player. Bulls guard Lonzo Ball thought the ejection was “weak” and offered on social media to pay for any subsequent fines.

Reese appreciated the gesture.

Sky leading scorer Marina Mabrey described the moment as a learning experience for Reese, via ESPN:

“She got two techs, she said something to the ref,” Mabrey said. “Whatever he felt like was the correct call is what he made. It’s more about composure for us in our young years in the WNBA. You’ve got to get to know refs and how they respond to things.”





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