Skip to Content

The Arike Ogunbowale Show Doesn’t End With An Ejection

Arike Ogunbowale signs a t-shirt for a fan after being ejected.
Screenshot: Bally Sports Southwest

I regret to inform you that last night's game between the Dallas Wings and the Atlanta Dream was not quite the unruly affair the WNBA-record 10 technical fouls issued would suggest. Five of them were defensive three-second calls; one was a delay of game violation the Wings picked up when Arike Ogunbowale touched the ball after her team scored. "I think that's important when we reference that stat," color commentator Raegan Pebley said with a chuckle when the tally reached seven. "They're not all bench technicals or fighting technicals or anything like that."

Yes. A shame. But the game did give us a good helping of old-fashioned, all-beef techs right at the end: One defensive three-second violation later, Ogunbowale picked up a double tech on the bench—"Oh my gosh. This is going to be nine?" Pebley said—and was booted from the game with a little less than two minutes left. (Wings head coach Latricia Trammell then chewed out the refs to bring the final count to 10, a nice "even number" Pebley said she approved of.) If I have rolled my eyes in the past at Ogunbowale's ISO-brained tendencies, I won't ever deny that she can be the most electric player in the league. On Saturday night, she treated the home fans to a 41-point performance as she got into a duel with Seattle's Jewell Loyd, whose 39 points were enough to secure a 109-103 win for Seattle. Ogunbowale's show continued into Tuesday night's game—she scored another 21 points and wasn't going to let some measly ejection stop her from entertaining. She got the crowd extremely hyped up as she walked off the court and even signed an autograph for a fan before she headed down the tunnel.

Trammell said afterward that the Wings would send tape to the league office to get some clarification on the rules. "I wish I could say more but I ain’t tryna lose no mo money," Ogunbowale tweeted. The Wings broadcast pointed out that most of last night's techs had been issued by one especially zealous official, Agon Abazi, who appears to be in his first season as a WNBA ref, though his previous games this year haven't nearly this tech-heavy. What's his deal? What's his problem? We will closely monitor the situation.

If you liked this blog, please share it! Your referrals help Defector reach new readers, and those new readers always get a few free blogs before encountering our paywall.

Stay in touch

Sign up for our free newsletter