Officially, there’s no protocol or rule in the NBA that allows an NBA player time to put on a lost shoe. Most wait until a dead ball or a stoppage in play, and the referees allow them the necessary time to get their shoe back on and tied.
On Monday, though, Anthony Davis was thrown out of the game in one of the more bizarre circumstances surrounding an ejection in recent memory for the Lakers. Late in the second quarter, Davis lost his shoe after a Bulls defender stepped on it as he jumped for an alley-oop.
The play led to a turnover with Davis on the ground and without a shoe. However, Davis was not afforded the time to put his shoe on and tie it, something he took umbrage with and voiced his displeasure to the closest official about.
Already having one technical on the night, Davis was quickly given a second and tossed out of the game.
Anthony Davis got ejected because he was upset the referee resumed play while he was putting his shoe on pic.twitter.com/oLHBz79rbl— Jomboy Media (@JomboyMedia) November 16, 2021
In many ways, it was a fitting summary of the Lakers’ night as they lost 121-103 to an upstart Bulls team that ran them off the floor figuratively and literally. But after the game, Lakers head coach Frank Vogel was just as perplexed and angry about the Davis ejection as fans were.
“I think, typically, the ref will wipe the ball, let the guy get his shoe on, have some common sense,” Vogel said. “Quick inbounds, AD said ‘That’s BS’ which happens about 15 times in the NBA every game. Quick tech, ejection. I don’t know what to say about that.”
It was as frustrated as Vogel has been this season in one of his postgame pressers as the Lakers fell by double digits for the second time in three games.
"Typically the ref will let the guy get his shoe on. Quick inbound, AD said, 'that's BS'–which happens 15 times in every game, quick tech, ejection. I don't know what to say about that." Frank Vogel on Anthony Davis' ejection vs. Chicago. @LakersReporter pic.twitter.com/eFApf22RXe— Spectrum SportsNet (@SpectrumSN) November 16, 2021
Meanwhile, for Davis — who did not speak with the media following the game — it was the capper of his own frustrating night. With LeBron James still out, the Bulls’ defensive focus was on Davis as they relentlessly hounded him all night with multiple defenders when he touched the ball.
Anthony Davis was ejected for the 2nd time in his career. He was double teamed 15 times tonight, his most in any game with the Lakers. pic.twitter.com/fVjIADD2e1— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) November 16, 2021
To put into context how rare Davis getting ejected is, this was just the second of his career, and the first was far more warranted. It came in the 2017-18 season in New Orleans, when Davis was playing alongside fellow big man DeMarcus Cousins. Ironically, it was Boogie who spent most of that night trying to be the good guy on the court and keep Davis from being ejected.
It did not work.
Monday’s ejection was a far less dramatic one, and likely won’t come with the fines that his first ejection led to, but it doesn’t make it any less head-scratching and confusing for fans — and Vogel — on the night.