“Refs Deserve Prison Time”: Temper Tantrum From NBA Legend After Heartbreak at the Buzzer at March Madness Triggers an Angry Twitter Twitter Mob

Published 03/18/2023, 6:50 AM EDT

via Imago

March Madness has already provided fans with numerous memorable moments as college basketball teams from all over the country crossed swords with each other in the Round of 64 of the tournament. Last night, the Memphis Tigers and Florida Atlantic Owl faced each other in the first round, and FAU came out victorious (66-65). However, as soon as the Tigers lost the game, their coach lost his cool and vented out his frustrations in his own way.

NBA legend and Memphis Tigers head coach Penny Hardaway was incensed due to a decision taken by the refs in the closing seconds of the game. The refs’ decision caused a stir on social media. Just like the four-time NBA All-Star, fans were also furious and expressed their displeasure on social media.

Penny Hardaway expressed his frustration through a throwaway action


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In the final seconds of the game, the Tigers, who were leading by a point, threw the ball away and got it back on the other end. It looked like they had called a timeout, but the refs ruled that it was a tie-up, giving the ball back to FAU via the possession arrow. Subsequently, Florida made a game-winning layup out of the ensuing baseline out-of-bounds play and sealed the victory.

A post shared by SportsCenter on its official Twitter handle gave fans an opportunity to look closely at the end sequence of Friday night’s contest. The post revealed two pictures of the NBA legend expressing his frustration by throwing a water bottle as soon as his team lost the game. The now 51-year-old was enraged with the decision of the officials.

The former Orlando Magic star was appointed as the Tigers’ head coach in 2018 and since then he has only been able to take them beyond the round of 64 once. This loss ended the Tigers’ hopes of winning the tournament. They ended their season 26-9 overall along with an AAC Tournament Championship to their name.

Fans were furious with the officials’ decision

As soon as the aforementioned post was shared, it elicited the attention of fans. They quickly took to Twitter and flooded its comment section with their thoughts and opinions. Judging from their comments, most of them weren’t satisfied with the decision taken by the refs.

Here are some of the reactions of fans:

One fan even felt that Hardaway should have replicated the legendary Bobby Knight’s iconic chair-throwing moment from 1985.

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What are your thoughts on Penny Hardaway throwing a bottle? Do you think the refs made a mistake? Let us know in the comments below.



Ayush Roy

465 articles

Ayush Roy is an NBA writer at Essentially Sports. He holds a Bachelor's degree in Accounting and Finance from the University of Calcutta. Capitalizing his background in finance, Ayush likes to dive deep into the economics of the NBA.

Edited By: Pragya Vashisth