(Danny, rocking a more conservative look)
Because they have lost two consecutive games and had the previous day off, yesterday’s Sonics practice figured to be intense.
And emotions reached a boiling point during the 90-minute workout when Danny Fortson disputed an offensive-foul call, sparking a shouting match between him and coach Nate McMillan and ending with the volatile forward being thrown out of practice, according to witnesses.
The incident occurred during a portion of practice closed to the media.
McMillan and a handful of players were available afterward but no one commented specifically on Fortson’s outburst.
Yesterday, his temper erupted after one of the three referees the Sonics employ to officiate practices gave him an offensive foul during a layup, which was contested by center Jerome James.
One observer described the play as a bad call because James was standing in the restricted area beneath the basket.
Fortson verbally attacked the referee, and when McMillan attempted to intervene, Fortson turned his tirade to the coach before teammates pulled him to the side of the court.
McMillan then told Fortson and the three officials to leave the court and practice resumed without them.
Said one observer: “I’ve never seen that happen before. I’ve seen them disagree before, but nothing like that. We all have our days. Jerome went off a couple of weeks ago, but never like this.”