What’s going on in Ohio?
Cleveland Cavaliers’ forward Tristan Thompson took a page right from the playbook of Odell Beckham Jr. Friday night when he slapped the butt of Memphis Grizzlies’ Jae Crowder as he attempted to sub out.
With just over two minutes left in the third quarter, Crowder passed Thompson at the foul line on his way to the bench when the 6-foot 9-inch power forward smacked Crowder on the backside.
Thompson was ejected after drawing his second technical of the game.
Officiating crew chief Ken Mauer told a pool reporter that the ejection was for “the physical taunt, slap to the backside” and had nothing to do with the double-technicals both players were assessed early on in the game.
Crowder didn’t appear to take the jest too seriously as he just stood next to Thompson, stunned.
Thompson appeared to clear the air saying after the game that it was just a natural reaction between two former teammates. Both men played for the Cavs during the 2017-2018 season.
“So, we have a history, and it was just a little competitive spirit,” he explained. “They might have taken it the wrong way because they may have forgotten we were teammates.”
Thompson said he would “definitely [be] calling (the Players Association) to appeal that.” The Grizzlies went on to defeat the Cavs 113-109, marking their seventh straight win.
In a less amusing situation, an arrest warrant for Cleveland Browns’ wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. was issued Thursday after he was seen slapping the backside of a security guard in the LSU Tigers locker room following the national championship game days earlier.
The Browns have said Beckham was cooperating with authorities on the issue.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.