Oct. 8 (UPI) — New York Knicks forward Marcus Morris was kicked out of a preseason game against the Washington Wizards after swinging his elbows at a defender’s face and then hitting him with the ball.
Morris’ ejection came at the start of the third quarter during the Knicks’ 104-99 loss Monday at Capital One Arena in Washington, D.C.
“There were just some things said and I kinda overreacted a little bit,” Morris told reporters. “It is what it is.”
The eight-year veteran received a pass just outside of the 3-point arc before drawing Wizards forward Justin Anderson as a defender. Morris turned toward the rim and faced up with Anderson. He pulled the ball up as Anderson moved in closer.
Morris quickly swung his left and right elbows, nearly hitting Anderson in the face. Anderson was shocked by the move and looked at a nearby referee for a foul call, but didn’t hear a whistle.
Morris then lifted the ball over his head before bringing it down on top of Anderson’s head. Referees called a flagrant type 2 foul on Morris and ejected the Knicks forward. Morris and Anderson exchanged words before Morris walked off the court. Anderson made one of his two free throws as a result of the infraction.
“I mean that’s Marcus Morris,” Knicks coach David Fizdale said. “Our team will embody his spirit. Obviously, he understands that you can’t be a detriment of us. He didn’t want to hurt the kid. At the same time, he does have an edge to him and we want to keep that edge.”
Morris could be suspended for the incident.
“My team needs me. I’ve got to be smart, set a better example,” Morris said. “But like I said in the beginning, we’re not taking any [expletive]. So it is what it is.”
Anderson had nine points in the win. Morris had 17 points and seven rebounds in 18 minutes for the Knicks. Rookie R.J. Barrett also recorded 17 points to lead the Knicks. Moritz Wagner scored 16 points off the bench to lead the Wizards.
The Knicks host the Wizards in another preseason game at 7:30 p.m. EDT Friday at Madison Square Garden in New York City.