'It's good for my rep!' – Tatum makes light of first NBA ejection as Celtics lose to surging Knicks

Getty Images

Jayson Tatum revealed he was ejected for describing the Boston Celtics' tussle with the New York Knicks as "the best-officiated game I've been a part of".

The seemingly sarcastic comment towards the game officials cost Tatum his place on the court with 3:46 remaining in the fourth quarter at Madison Square Garden.

By then, the Knicks were almost home and hosed, and they saw out a 109-94 victory to extend their streak to six games and improve to 36-27 overall.

It was the 24-year-old Tatum's first ejection of his NBA career, and defeat means the Celtics (44-18) no longer have the best record in the league, dropping below the Milwaukee Bucks (43-17).

Tatum managed just 14 points on six-of-18 shooting from the field, with seven rebounds and nine assists.

Asked what was the cause of his ejection, Tatum said: "I don't know, but all the great players get thrown out a few times in their career, so, it's good for my rep."

Tatum did know the reason, though. He felt the officials missed a foul on a three-point shot and he made his feelings known.

He had already seen a technical foul given against him, for raising a grievance over no foul being called on a dunk late in the third quarter.

"That one was the tough one. The first one, no call. If you look, it was clearly a foul," Tatum said. "Those are the ones that are tough. You get a tech for something that you probably was right about.

"The second one, I just told him this was probably the best-officiated game I've been a part of. I tried to give him a compliment. It didn't go over so well."

Although obviously a jibe rather than praise, Tatum repeated his message: "I said it was the best-officiated game I've been a part of. I meant it."