Mike Montgomery, University of California men's basketball coach, shoved Allan Crabbe, his star player, during a timeout Sunday night in a game against University of Southern California.
You can see the shove, a two-handed, hard push to Crabbe's chest, online. It is the kind of shove that can start a fight. The Montgomery shove is all over the Internet.
You see Montgomery, his face showing anger at his star's casual play, push Crabbe. You see Crabbe's face, a mixture of amazement and anger, yell at Montgomery. Two players push Crabbe away. Crabbe goes under the stands to cool off. He is really ticked off — he has every right to be. Play resumes.
Let it be noted that Cal was losing to the Trojans at the time. After the shove, Crabbe played better and Cal came back and won.
What Montgomery did was unacceptable, as in bad. There is no other way to look at it.
After the game, Montgomery made light of his grievous action, of his bullying act in his postgame news conference. Here are some quotes from the San Francisco Chronicle.
"Worked, didn't it?" Montgomery said. "I asked if he wanted to play. He had no expression. &‘Woe is me.' ... We were standing around. Nobody was ready to play."
Which means even after the game, Montgomery did not understand the implications of his shove, did not understand he had screwed up.
The shove worked?