Memphis Grizzlies star Ja Morant was a part of a strange interaction with fans sitting courtside on Saturday night watching their team take on the Oklahoma City Thunder.
Morant was ejected just before halftime after he picked up his second technical foul with his team down 20 points. The Thunder went on to win the game 115-109.
The star point guard was talking to fans when he was ejected. The fans were left stunned and Morant gave them two thumbs up as he was tossed. The conversation between Morant and the Grizzlies fans continued as he hit the showers. Morant reportedly called his father, who carried a cellphone over to the fans Morant had been interacting with.
He confirmed he spoke to the fans on FaceTime and thanked them for their support.
“They came to support us. They came to watch us play. I don’t care about getting fined,” he said. “You know, just watching basketball, looking at all these other people you can name that be All-Stars, certain stuff they get, I feel it’s not consistent on my end. I speak my peace and some of them get in they feelings.”
Morant didn’t reveal what he said to the fans but said he wasn’t speaking to an official before either technical foul.
“I got my first tech for saying I got hit in my f—ing face. And then I get another tech for talking with a fan for him (referee Ray Acosta) being in my conversation again. I feel like when these fans came here, went online to buy tickets, it didn’t say (Ray’s) name to come watch.”
Crew chief John Gobble said after the game Morant’s first technical was given “for use of profanity directed at an official” and the second was “for making a comment questioning the integrity of an official,” according to ESPN.
The Grizzlies star was ejected from a game on Dec. 1 and was fined $35,000 for his comments about officiating. He was asked if he felt like he was being singled out.
“I don’t know. Probably so,” he said. “Probably don’t like me.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.