Depending on which NBA referees are working a particular game, you’re going to encounter a different tolerance level for on-court trash talk. But when the banter gets directed towards the refs, that’s when you’ll often see a quick technical get called.
Trae Young probably just wishes that referee Bill Kennedy listened a bit closer on Monday night, though.
During the third quarter of the Hawks’ matchup with the Bucks, Young was called for a technical after he directed the “too small” gesture towards Jevon Carter, which would have been a *very* weak technical. It turned out that Kennedy completely misunderstood what Young said and offered to take back the technical while Carter was already shooting free throws.
Young’s reaction throughout the conversation was unintentionally hilarious as mics picked up the exchange (NSFW language).
Lol just realized the mic picked up way more audio
Trae: “I said he’s too small!? I said he’s too F’ing small.”
Ref: “I’ll take it back then”
Trae: “What do you..”
Ref: “I thought you said call the f’ing foul”
Trae: “I said he’s too small?? You can’t take it back.” pic.twitter.com/V6sXfbn4M5
— Grant Shirley (@Grant_Shirley4) November 15, 2022
According to Kennedy, he thought that Young was telling him to “call the (expletive) foul.” But no, Young was just mocking Carter who is the same height as him. Young was also confused as Kennedy offered to take the T back when it was obviously too late for it.
He thought I said “call the f***ing foul”
— Trae Young (@TheTraeYoung) November 15, 2022
The Hawks ended up winning, 121-106, so no harm was really done with the call. And given Kennedy’s on-court offer, Young can probably expect to have that technical rescinded by the league office. But really, refs should be certain of what they heard before they dish out technicals.
Fans also had thoughts on the whole exchange.