Houston — In a rare outward display of emotions, Pistons guard Kentavious Caldwell-Pope let his get the best of him.
And it’s going to cost him.
Caldwell-Pope, who was ejected after getting two technical fouls in the third quarter of Monday’s loss against the Chicago Bulls at The Palace, was fined $10,000 by the NBA on Wednesday, for kicking a spectator’s chair on his way to the locker room.
Caldwell-Pope said a little girl was sitting near the chair and his actions scared her, so he tried to make amends.
“I apologized to the family and the little girl. I gave her a jersey and signed it and apologized for kicking the chair and scaring her,” he said. “In the heat of the moment, I wasn’t really thinking about it — but before I left the arena, I thought about it so I apologized to her and gave her a (game-worn) jersey and another jersey signed by me.”
Caldwell-Pope had just one technical in the first 40 games this season and admitted is wasn’t on his mind that he had the first one when he picked up the second technical, with 7.6 seconds remaining in the period.
He was assessed the first technical after being called for traveling and then bounced the ball high up in the air, appearing to try to make it in a basket — seemingly more frustrated at himself more than the officials.
On the second technical, he was arguing with a referee, after committing a foul. He looked to be miffed about a missed foul call on the Bulls’ Pau Gasol after they collided on a drive on the other end of the court.
That left the Pistons without their best defender for the remainder of the game, with his team trailing by just three points.
“It didn’t hit me until I got to the locker room,” Caldwell-Pope said Wednesday. “I felt like I let my teammates down and it was a bad decision to even do that at that time. It was a critical time going into the fourth quarter.”
Caldwell-Pope also barked at coach Stan Van Gundy and the two exchanged some terse words before he left the court, but things are reconciled now.
“I used to go through that with guys a lot more than this. I’m worried about how they play and what kind of people they are,” Van Gundy said. “The guy was really frustrated; if you’re going to say something to a guy in a situation where he’s already frustrated, any of us would do the same thing.
“I shouldn’t have said what I said to him because it wasn’t the time and it wasn’t productive. I couldn’t keep him in the game and should have just let it go.”
Caldwell-Pope said the two have had a couple talks since the incident and they’re fine now.
“We’re good. We had a talk before we got to Houston,” he said. “Everything was in the heat of the moment, but we talked about it and squared it away.”
Caldwell-Pope said he was preoccupied with some other off-court issues and let them fester during the game, which affected his focus.
“Throughout the game. I also had other things on my mind from off the court. There was a lot of stuff going on and I tried to juggle it,” Caldwell-Pope said. “Out of frustration, I kind of exploded, and it wasn’t me. I jumped out of character.
“Just a lot of stuff was going on before the game. I didn’t handle it pretty well and it carried over into the game — something that shouldn’t happen.”
With so much going on Monday, Caldwell-Pope said he’s moved on and the distractions are behind him now.