Former NBA forward LaPhonoso Ellis retired long before the days of social media, but that hasn’t stopped him from going viral.
Ellis, now an ESPN college hoops analyst who also serves as coach of Heartfire in the $1 million The Basketball Tournament (TBT), was tossed from a Tuesday night game after he argued with, then shoved a member of the opposing team.
Fans caught the second quarter altercation on video, as did the arena’s video feed, leading to an embarrassed Ellis getting tossed.
“I’m ashamed of my behavior, yet I’m grateful for the way these guys went out and fought,” Ellis said after his team’s win on Tuesday, per KRQE.com.
See the fracas unfold in the video below from Tuesday night’s action.
— Niah (@shaniah_3) July 20, 2022
The video shows Ellis push Joe Furstinger from the opposing team, The Enchantment, after the coach and player argued a non-call which Ellis perceived as a foul. Though he’s been out of the league for two decades, Ellis proved he’d fit right in with today’s NBA players, by immediately turning his back and walking away after shoving Furstinger.
“My greatest concern is that my behavior would’ve been a distraction and a detriment to what they were trying to do out there,” said Ellis. “I’ve asked for their forgiveness, and I’ve asked for the forgiveness of those who were involved in the team that we were playing against. I’m just grateful that my guys were able to fight.”
Ellis’ team walked away with a 79-74 win, but it seems as though he was the one doing the majority of the fighting, not his players.
In addition to pushing Furstinger, Ellis was also seen putting his hands on the face of Drew Gordon, another player from The Enchantment. That happened as Ellis was leaving the court following his ejection.
— Abal (@Abal_333) July 20, 2022
Ellis was selected fifth overall by the Denver Nuggets in the 1992 NBA Draft. He’s been with ESPN since 2009.
Follow along on Twitter: @OhioAF