The Toronto Raptors fell to 1-2 on the young season thanks to a tough road loss against the Miami Heat. While the squad managed to come back and make it a game despite a Scottie Barnes injury, they had to do so without the services of rookie big Christian Koloko due to a terrible ejection.
Koloko and Heat wing Caleb Martin were thrown out after a scrap in the third quarter, but it looked like Martin was in the wrong more than Koloko. From standing over him to lunging at the rookie’s legs and taking him out, Martin appeared to be both the instigator and escalator.
While ejections can often get coaches and teammates seeing red, the Raptors aren’t angry with Koloko in the slightest. In fact, some players on the team have been very vocal in their support of Koloko after the referees decided to bizarrely toss him from the contest.
Precious Achiuwa said that the team rallied after the Koloko ejection, saying that Martin was incredibly disrespectful. That move galvanized the team, helping the Raptors erase a 24-point deficit and making this a game right down to the final minute.
The Toronto Raptors rallied after Christian Koloko-Caleb Martin fight.
Even Koloko himself was confused as to why he was ejected. He said that he did not know who Martin was before the fight and that nothing had been going on between the two players prior to the tackle. This looks like Martin just wanted to start some trouble on the court.
The Raptors and Martin are no strangers to controversial hard fouls, as he laid some wood on Scottie Barnes last year. Playing hard is one thing, and no player should be faulted for that, but some of what Martin has done in his last few games against the Raptors is toeing the legality line.
Koloko was reportedly getting dapped up when walking down the tunnel, a sign that the Raptors were more frustrated with the call to throw him out than the Arizona alum standing up and defending himself. After just three games, Koloko has been established as a fan favorite and rotation mainstay.
Saturday’s Heat game went about as poorly as possible for the Raptors considering all of the injuries, ejections, and slow starts. ,Koloko might be getting a hit to his wallet after the melee on the floor, but none of his teammates seem to agree with the decision to throw him out in the first place.