Entering last night’s Game 4 between the Boston Celtics and the Chicago Bulls, there had already been plenty of weird controversies surrounding this interesting playoff series.
First, there was Charles Barkley making the worst word choice in the history of sports analysis by saying that it made him “uncomfortable” to see Celtics point guard Isaiah Thomas visibly grieving his sister’s tragic death prior to the game.
Then, there was the ironic injury of Bulls point guard Rajon Rondo. Ironic because of the fact that Rondo was playing his best basketball in quite some time against the team that he formerly played his best basketball with, Rondo’s injury completely changed the fate of a series that seemed destined to be a Bulls sweep.
With that being said, Rondo continued to inflict his spiteful wrath upon the Celtics, this time from the bench, as he attempted to trip Boston’s Jae Crowder after Crowder threw a menacing glance his way.
Even after that mean-spirited attempt at playing footsie earned Rondo a $25,000 fine, the two teams still resorted to foot-related antics. Last night, Crowder got revenge on the Bulls by throwing Chicago center Robin Lopez’s shoe off of the court after it slipped off of Lopez’s foot.
Robin Lopez loses his shoe, Jae Crowder throws it, Lopez unties Crowder's shoe…so much going on pic.twitter.com/7vxzBYvFkm
— Sports Illustrated (@SInow) April 24, 2017
Lopez wasn’t having any of that, though, as he wrapped up Crowder and let the referee know that he needed his damn shoe back. But Robin wouldn’t go quietly, though. Even after the ref stopped play so that Lopez could lace up, Robin sneakily reached over while tying his own shoe to untie Crowder’s shoe.
Crowder Throws Robin Lopez Shoe So Robin Messes With Crowder Shoe pic.twitter.com/mbNxKvPjR0
— Gustavo Vega (@iamvega1982) April 24, 2017
A far more serious confrontation also took place in last night’s game, with the Celtics’ Marcus Smart getting visibly flustered by the swarming defense of the Bulls’ Jimmy Butler and shoving Butler out of frustration.
Jimmy Butler and Marcus Smart get into it. 👀
— NBA SKITS (@NBA_Skits) April 23, 2017
After the game, Butler chose not to take the high road whatsoever in his criticism of Smart, commenting that Marcus “is not about that life.” One can only assume that he means that he’s not about that life of throwing hands, but it’s hard to believe that Butler would be about that life himself in the playoffs and thereby risk earning himself a lengthy suspension as a result.
Jimmy Butler just went all the way in on Marcus Smart pic.twitter.com/GMlmzsXvoS
— Kenny Ducey (@KennyDucey) April 24, 2017
This series has been thrilling thus far and could very well be a seven-game classic in the making. Filled with drama and intrigue (and also weirdness) this has the potential to be one of the most exciting series of this year’s playoffs. Hopefully, the weirdness won’t get in the way of that.