Print and Go Back NBA [Print without images]

Sunday, February 26, 2006
Updated: February 27, 6:02 PM ET
Garnett ejected after ball he tosses hits fan

Associated Press

MINNEAPOLIS -- Minnesota forward Kevin Garnett was ejected in the third quarter of Minnesota's victory over Memphis on Sunday for tossing the ball into the stands and accidentally hitting a fan.

"By no means was I trying to hit a fan," Garnett said after he was ejected from the game.

The NBA announced Tuesday that it had fined Garnett $5,000.

Garnett was reacting in frustration after being called for an offensive foul.

"I just tossed it," Garnett said outside Minnesota's locker room before leaving the arena at the start of the fourth quarter. "I didn't even look at where I tossed it. I was just so ... mad."

Medical personnel examined the fan, who was wheeled from the court on a gurney to boos and later walked with his family and arena personnel to a back room. The fan declined to comment to the media. His condition wasn't immediately available, although he appeared to be uninjured.

With Minnesota leading 64-61 with 7:47 left in the quarter, Garnett was called for the foul while driving against Shane Battier on the baseline. The nine-time All-Star then lightly flipped the ball into the stands under the basket, hitting the male fan.

Garnett, who said he was upset by a previous call, said he didn't intend to throw the ball into the stands, but rather was trying to get a delay-of-game call.

"By no means was I trying to hit a fan," he said.

Referee Bob Delaney assessed Garnett a technical foul for tossing the ball, and he was automatically ejected because it hit the fan. Afterward, Garnett walked over to the fan to apologize before leaving the court. Television cameras showed a young girl sitting next to the man in tears.

"It was an accident and he apologized profusely," Wolves coach Dwane Casey said.

Before leaving the arena, Garnett said he again checked in on the family to apologize.

"I should have had a little more control than that," Garnett said.

The former league MVP had 17 points, 10 rebounds and seven assists. Eddie Griffin replaced Garnett in the lineup.

"Whenever there is an incident inside of our arena involving a fan, we're going to treat it very, very professionally and carefully," said Wolves president Chris Wright. Both Wright and Casey apologized on behalf of the team.

"I know Kevin feels bad about it," Casey said.