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
The NBA announced Tuesday that it had fined Garnett $5,000.
Garnett was reacting in frustration after being called for an
"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
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.