Joel Przybilla isn't real sure why he's in trouble. (Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports)
On Saturday night, while you were probably at a holiday party or watching Ricky Rubio throw passes through dudes' legs or watching Kyrie Irving go all
Black Mamba Green Hornet on the Knicks, the Milwaukee Bucks got smoked by the Los Angeles Clippers. Late in the fourth quarter, with L.A. well on its way to a ninth straight win, a Ryan Hollins layup put the Clips up by 26 points, and a Drew Gooden foul sent him to the line with the chance to make this a nine-possession game.
Following the foul, reserve Bucks big man Joel Przybilla tossed the ball to an unsuspecting referee thusly:
For the offense of tossing the ball to a ref who wasn't looking and having it hit said ref in the right leg, he received a technical foul on the spot, and a one-game suspension without pay from NBA discipline czar Stu Jackson on Sunday.
On one hand, Przybilla's lob did hit the ref; if you're of a mind to do so, you could ascribe intent to that (frustration at the Bucks' down-26 predicament, frustration with the foul call on Gooden, etc.) and submit that the 7-foot-1 backup was making something of an immature act-out protest. On the other, one could also argue that it was less intentional than unmindful, and not worthy of the equivalent of a $16,490 fine (the equivalent of 1/82nd of Przybilla's $1,352,181 contract to play with the Bucks this year). Reasonable people can have different opinions; please feel free to share yours in the comments.
For those keeping score at home, throwing a ball that hits a referee's leg is now officially as bad as throwing a mouthpiece that hits an official in the back, and both are as bad as hitting an opponent in the groin. Each of those things are precisely one-half as bad as ramping up a fight, throwing an elbow at a Swedish man's throat and being mad at Sean Elliott. Please update your records accordingly.
The league announced that Przybilla will serve his suspension during Milwaukee's matchup with the Indiana Pacers on Tuesday night; the two teams are tied for second place in the Central Division, one game behind the Chicago Bulls. In their first matchup of the season, which Milwaukee won by 14, Przybilla grabbed four rebounds and blocked one shot in just under seven minutes of floor time.
Video via theassociation.