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WATCH: Marcus Smart gets ejected from a game he wasn’t even playing in

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We have seen some truly bizarre ejections throughout the 2023-24 NBA season. Nikola Jokic was issued such an underwhelming ejection on Serbian heritage night in Chicago that even the Bulls broadcast team expressed frustration. Thomas Bryant was kicked out of his own ring ceremony earlier this month as he was technically suspended during his only trip to Denver of the season. But a player getting ejected in street clothes? That’s about as odd as it gets.

Yet, that’s exactly what happened to Marcus Smart on Tuesday as the Memphis Grizzlies fell in overtime to the Sacramento Kings, 121-111. Smart has been out since January due to a torn thumb tendon, but he still watches the Grizzlies play from the sideline. 

Memphis and Sacramento were back and forth all night, but Sacramento took a 109-107 lead with roughly three minutes left in overtime. Desmond Bane attempted to drive for the tie, but was unable to score as he absorbed quite a bit of contact. No foul was called. Less than two minutes later, the Kings had extended the lead to 115-107, and after the Grizzlies called timeout following an emphatic Domantas Sabonis dunk, Smart lost his cool. When the game returned from the commercial break, Malik Monk was at the line and Smart had been ejected for arguing with the officials.

Though obviously quite rare, an ejection for an injured player isn’t totally unprecedented. In 2018, DeMarcus Cousins managed to get ejected from a Golden State Warriors game before he’d even debuted with the team.

In the grand scheme of things, Smart’s ouster didn’t mean much. The Kings had more or less won the game at that point, and the Grizzlies are so far out of the playoff race that a win wouldn’t have done them much good anyway. If anything, it was (pun intended) smart of Smart to make such a big deal out of a seemingly meaningless game. That’s the sort of thing that could help build a culture when the Grizzlies are healthy and ready to win again next season.

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