The Pistons aren’t a lot of fun to watch right now. (They have the worst record in the NBA at 2–13.) But the good thing about being a fan of a lousy team is that sometimes players who are worth watching come to town, like two-time MVP and NBA champion Nikola Jokić.
Jokić and the Nuggets came to Detroit on Monday night, but the home fans didn’t get to see him do very much. Late in the first half, Jokić was ejected when he earned his second technical foul of the night for arguing with an official.
After the ejection, Pistons announcer George Blaha called out the officials for ejecting the biggest star.
Nikola Jokić was ejected from Monday night's game against the Pistons, and Detroit play-by-play man George Blaha had choice words for the officials after it.— Awful Announcing (@awfulannouncing) November 21, 2023
"Let me tell you this, these fans did not come here to see Curtis Blair, Tre Maddox or Andy Nagy, whoever they are. pic.twitter.com/lD8t8GdXRb
“Let me tell you this, these fans did not come here to see Curtis Blair, Tre Maddox or Andy Nagy, whoever they are,” Blaha said, referring to the three-man officiating crew.
Color commentator Greg Kelser agreed.
“See, I thought the same thing when Giannis Antetokounmpo was ejected in Milwaukee for kind of flexing after he made a dunk,” Kelser said. “That’s the danger of getting that early technical. You have to quiet it down for the rest of the game.”
It’s a reasonable point that Blaha and Kelser make. The NBA is an entertainment product and fans should be able to buy a ticket and expect to watch the players they came to see. But it’s also important to maintain the competitive integrity of the game. You can’t give players like Jokić and Antetokounmpo preferential treatment that benefits their teams. That’ll be no consolation to the fans in Detroit on Monday night, though.