Toronto Raptors big man Christian Koloko made headlines earlier this season due to a scuffle with Caleb Martin of the Miami Heat, which led to the rookie getting ejected. On the latest episode of Hustle Play with Chris Boucher, the 22-year-old talked about his incredulous reaction to the whole situation, who paid the fine, and how he got into the altercation in the first place.
When asked who was the fastest player to receive an ejection in NBA history — in terms of games played — Koloko quickly realized where the conversation was headed. Before getting a chance to answer, Boucher explained it was him who set the Cameroon native up for the melee.
“Let’s talk about it. He got ejected, right,” Boucher explained. “Honestly, I really think the whole setup — I set it up for myself. It started in Brooklyn.
“I think [Nic Claxton] had the ball — dunks it, but does a little bit too much and put his legs on top of [Koloko], right? So that’s the game before. So I’m like, ‘Yo, don’t never let somebody do that to you.’ I remember telling him that, like don’t let him — next time, like push him or whatever.
“Next game, we go to Miami. Somebody is trying to mess with him again. But this time, he ain’t messing around. So he pushed and gets into some crazy altercation. I’m like, good job, man.”
Since Boucher was the one to instil this “self-defence” mindset into Koloko’s psyche, he elected to pay his fine. Much to his chagrin, however, it was more expensive than he had anticipated. Koloko expressed great appreciation for his veteran teammate picking up the tab.
Koloko was confused by his scuffle with Martin
When asked about why he seemed so calm during his altercation with the Heat forward, Koloko admitted it was because he was confused as to why Martin was angry in the first place.
“Yeah, I wasn’t standing,” Koloko explained. “And then, he like walked towards me. And I’m like, what is this guy trying to do? And then, I don’t know if he pushed me or something, and I just sort of grabbed him because I was about to fall. And then he was trying to tackle me.”
The rookie’s stoic mindset prevented him from escalating the situation, as he revealed he could have been much more reactionary.
“I could’ve done something,” Koloko said. “And then, right after that, everybody just jumped in. I was like, what’s going on? In my head, I was like, what’s going on?
“And I just put my hands up. I’m not trying to do anything. Like, it’s my third game in the league.”
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