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Referee Statement on Bizarre DeMarcus Cousins Un-Ejection

How does one get un-ejected from an NBA basketball game? Let’s find out.

NBA: Los Angeles Lakers at Phoenix Suns Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Sacramento Kings center DeMarcus Cousins was ejected in the final minute of Tuesday night’s Trail Blazer game for flinging his mouthpiece at the Portland bench, earning his second technical of the evening. Cousins, furious, sprinted back to the Sacramento locker room as the officials gathered for discussion. Curiously, Cousins was un-ejected and returned to the court to finish the contest.

After the game, Mike Richman of The Oregonian supplied a statement about the unprecedented occurrence from official Brian Forte:

The brief interview reads as follows:

What was the initial call on Cousins when he was issued his second technical?

Brian Forte: I called a technical foul because I thought DeMarcus threw his mouthpiece into the stands when it ended up underneath Portland’s bench.

Why was it rescinded?

Forte: I conferred with my partners and they confirmed that he did not throw the mouthpiece and that it came out of his mouth and that’s how it ended up there.

Did you consult video replay?

Forte: No. It’s not a reviewable matter.

So the review was just between you three referees on the court?

Forte: Correct.

Was it Portland’s bench that prompted you to make the initial call?

Forte: No, it was my decision.

Cousins was upset in his post-game interview, claiming several times that “What’s really going on” is “really ridiculous,” and suggesting that his mouthpiece accidentally came out of his mouth.

Fan footage from behind the Trail Blazers bench would seemingly refute Cousins’ suggestion as there appeared to be intent.

The Kings defeated the Trail Blazers 126-121. Cousins’ contribution to the game after his return included a made free throw and an emphatic block. What do you think of this highly irregular finale? Would the initial call have stood if the matter was reviewable?