In Game 4 of the first round playoff matchup between the Cavaliers and the Celtics last season, J.R. Smith was ejected for hitting Jae Crowder in the face.
There was some pushing as the two were battling for position on a rebound, and Smith swung behind him with a closed fist that not only knocked Crowder to the floor, but caused a knee injury in the process.
It was a contentious series that saw Boston's Kelly Olynyk knock Kevin Love out for the remainder of the season with a shoulder injury, and at the time, it looked like Olynyk did it on purpose.
That play is at least debatable, but the one involving Smith is not. Perhaps that's why Crowder is hoping to get an apology when the teams meet for the first time this season on Tuesday.
“I hope he apologizes tomorrow, to be honest with you,” Crowder said, via The Boston Globe. “I hope it wasn’t intentional. But if he doesn’t, then we’ll play ball.”
Smith may not have intended for the result to be as severe as it was, but there's no doubting he was frustrated by the physical play and wanted to send a message. We'll see if he's regretful enough to issue the apology that Crowder desires.
Send all complaints, compliments, and tips to email@example.com