Angel Reese’s ‘weak’ exit from Sky-Liberty game draws attention, courtesy of Bulls’ Lonzo Ball

The New York Liberty beat the Chicago Sky 88-75 on Tuesday night.

In the waning minutes with the Liberty firmly in control, Sky rookie Angel Reese drew two quick whistles for her first ejection from a WNBA game. The layoff happened, New York up 82-71 with 2:31 left. Reese was initially whistled for a personal foul while fighting for a rebound. Two subsequent technical whistles quickly followed, and Reese was ejected from the game.

It happened so fast that NBATV broadcasts initially announced that New York’s Betnija Laney-Hamilton had been ejected. But it was really Reese who got tossed.

Replays show interactions that triggered technologies that the live broadcast missed. Referee Charles Watson whistled Rees for a personal foul. Reese protested briefly, then turned to Watson with a dismissive wave of his hand. Watson responded with two technical whistles and an overhead toss gesture, saying Reese was no longer welcome to play basketball.

Watson then walked to the other side of the court. Reese and her ski teammates were confused as to what had happened. It wasn’t clear at first what Reese meant, but it certainly got under Watson’s skin.

Then the game resumed, and New York held on for the win. Reese finished the game with 13 points, 10 rebounds and two technical fouls. And there’s plenty to talk about after a busy weekend in WNBA news.

Sky head coach Teresa Weatherspoon told reporters after the game that the officials had not explained the dismissal to her.

“I tried to get an explanation. I didn’t,” Weatherspoon said. “To this day I don’t know what happened.”

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Commanding Officer Maj Forsberg told reporters The first technical issued to Reese called Watson “disrespectful.” The second reason is Reese’s arm movement.

Reese did not speak to reporters after the game. But his exit caught the attention of a fellow Chicago basketball player. Bulls guard Lonzo Ball thought the ejection was “weak” and offered to pay the subsequent fines on social media.

Reese appreciated the gesture.

Sky leading scorer Marina Mabrey described the moment as a learning experience for Rees, via ESPN:

“She got two technicals and she said something to the ref,” Mabrey said. “He felt whatever he thought was the right call. It’s about composure for us in our youth in the WNBA. You have to know the cues and how they respond.”

    Angel Reese walks off the floor after being ejected from Tuesday's Sky-Liberty game.  (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)

Angel Reese walks off the floor after being ejected from Tuesday’s Sky-Liberty game. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)

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