The Miami Heat‘s backup center Dewayne Dedmon let frustration get the best of him while playing against the Chicago Bulls on Saturday, November 28. With just 11:07 left in the fourth quarter, the 7-foot center walked toward the bench and kicked a chair, which sent the seat cushion flying into the stands.
Dedmon was ejected following the incident, during which fans sitting in nearby seats were hit by the chair’s padding. After the 32-year-old veteran exited the game, the Heat were still able to secure a 107-104 win over the Bulls.
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During the postgame conference, Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra spoke to the media about Dedmon’s ejection. The undrafted center of Southern California was not reprimanded, in fact, it was quite the opposite. Spoelstra dubbed him the Player of the Game.
“I think he underestimated how strong he was,” Spoelstra said, per Miami Herald’s Anthony Chiang. “I did not see it. [James Williams] and the officiating crew basically interpreted the letter of the law on it that I guess the pad went into the stands. But that was not Dewayne’s intention at all. So when we brought it in, we made him player of the game.”
Dedmon was clearly not happy about the ejection. After the ref’s call, he put a towel over his head and stormed into the locker room.
Spoelstra Calls Dedmon ‘So Vital’ to the Heat’s Roster
While Dedmon was brought in last season to provide backup for Heat’s starting center Bam Adebayo, he’s provided so much more to the team than being a reliable stand-in.
“He has been so vital to our team,” Spoelstra said. “He’s a big big, as Pat [Riley] likes to say, and he makes his presence felt. Defensively, he’s one of our best communicators, if not our best communicator. He’s big at the rim. He protects the rim. He gives us a different kind of feel at that center position than Bam.
“And he has a great knack for the ball — offensive rebounding, sliding into open spots, making himself available so he can finish in the paint. And he has a good touch for a big. We couldn’t be happier with the minutes and productivity he’s giving from that position.”
Dedmon Has 1 Primary Goal as a Heat Player This Season
Dedmon continues to make the most of his minutes off the bench, and his only goal this season is to keep providing second-chance opportunities for the Heat’s offensive stars to score points, and keeping opponents from receiving second-chance opportunities.
“Get as many rebounds as possible,” Demon said. “It’s just something that I’ve always kind of hung my hat on since I was young in the league. I used to talk to my trainer and my agent and stuff, and we used to talk about how elite rebounders average like one rebound every three minutes. So I try to do more than that, if I can. That’s what my focus is.”
Part Tyler Herro’s breakout success thus far this season can be credited to Dedmon creating space for him to score.
“It’s very important, especially when you got Tyler Herro coming off the bench with you,” Dedmon said of screening. “Like I tell him, I’m setting the screens for you to get open so you can get the shot. That’s what you do. You score. You’re a scorer. So any time I can get him open to get to his moves or whatever he needs, it’s a successful play for me.”