Marcus Morris apologized for saying Memphis' Jae Crowder had 'female tendencies' after Crowder broke an unwritten NBA rule by shooting a 3-pointer with under a minute to play on Wednesday and his team leading by 18 points.
"I apologize for using the term 'female tendencies,'" Morris said in a tweet. "I have the upmost respect for women and everything they mean to us. It was a Heat of the moment response and I never intended for any Women to feel as though in anyway I'm disrespecting them. Again I apologize with my comments."
Crowder stole an inbounds pass and headed for the corner to shoot a 3-pointer with 48 seconds remaining. Elfrid Payton took exception to the shot attempt, shoving Crowder while he was in mid-air.
As the officials intervened, Morris got involved, pushing Ja Morant out of the way and throwing a shove at Jonas Valanciunas. Coaches grabbed Payton out from the bunch and Morris had to be restrained as well, but officials threw out the two and Crowder.
The NBA will punish Payton for the shove and may also punish some of the Grizzlies for leaving the bench during the incident.
The league may also penalize Morris for using demeaning language when discussing Crowder's shot attempt, which is considered outside of the sport's accepted etiquette.
Here's what Morris said after the game when asked about Crowder.
"I think dude is just -- he plays the game a different way," Morris said. "He's just -- a lot of female tendencies on the court, flopping and just throwing his head back the entire game. And like I said, it's a man's game and you just get tired of it, man. And then, obviously, at the end, that was very unprofessional."
He was asked if he was upset that Crowder stole the ball.
"The steal was cool. He got the steal. It is what it is," said Morris. "But when you step back and shoot a three -- you know what I'm saying -- and try to, low-key, rub it in that they're winning, it's just unprofessional, man. That's soft. His game is soft. He's soft. It's just how he carries (himself), man, and it's just very woman-like."
Morris quickly wrote a message on Twitter apologizing for the comments .
Payton was unapolagetic about how he acted upon Crowder's steal and three-pointer. He said he had no issue with Crowder at any other point in the game. But the 3-point attempt was a breach of unwritten rules.
"Standing on that," Payton said. "I'd do it again. Didn't matter who took that shot. Don't disrespect the game like that ... you just don't do that. You know better than that, and you know what come with that."
The end of the game was an ugly scene for both teams. The Knicks fell to 13-36 and have dropped 12 of 15. They have the NBA's third-worst record.
Fans at the Garden showed their frustration by yelling 'sell the team' late in the game. Knicks owner James Dolan, via statements from the Madison Square Garden Company, has repeatedly said he has no plans to sell the team. New York has won just one playoff series in the last 20 years of Dolan's ownership, which is, presumably, part of the reason fans are frustrated.
Elfrid Payton stands by his actions in tonight's scuffle:- Knicks Videos (@sny_knicks) January 30, 2020
"It doesn't matter who took that shot, don't disrespect the game like that" pic.twitter.com/CYzzoKwljP