Heat coach Spoelstra on Richardson: ‘’the response after that, going to the bench, that’s not acceptable’’
Josh Richardson is known as an easygoing player around the Miami Heat organization. The wing guard had only been handed six technical fouls before Sunday and had never been ejected.
Then he threw his shoe.
After taking some contact on a dunk attempt in the fourth quarter against the Los Angeles Lakers on Sunday, Richardson’s left sneaker came off as he crashed to the ground. When there was no whistle, Richardson started to argue with the ref before going back to play defense on the other end. The wing picked up his fifth foul playing defense against LeBron James, which led to Spoelstra bringing him to the bench. In frustration, Richardson tossed his shoe into the crowd and was immediately ejected with 6:31 left in the fourth quarter of a 113-97 loss.
“I don’t want to talk about it,” Richardson said in the Heat’s locker room after the game. “It was a series of events, but I got caught up.”
While coach Erik Spoelstra was disappointed by Richardson losing his composure, the coach was happy to see some emotion from his best player in the midst of another Miami (6-10) loss at AmericanAirlines Arena.
“You saw a competitive will come out,” Spoelstra 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.”
Richardson’s kicked off a string of technical fouls for the Heat in the final seven minutes as it tried to rally past the Lakers (9-7) in Miami. Spoelstra followed Richardson with a technical of his own four seconds later, then small forward Derrick Jones Jr. picked up a technical foul after slamming home a putback dunk over Brandon Ingram. Jones and the Lakers wing were hit with double technical fouls for jawing with one another after the play.