Jonas Jerebko made his NBA debut a memorable one for his fans, even if it's just a preseason game he'd like to forget.
With 5:04 left in the fourth quarter he got tangled up with the Heat's Jamaal Magloire underneath the basket and they both came crashing down to the floor. As they did, Magloire landed a punch to Jerebko's nose and, apparently, Jerebko returned the favor once they were on the ground. I didn't see it live, as I switched over to the radio in the second half (and I didn't really see it in the replays either), but that's allegedly what caused them both to be ejected.
It's not exactly how you'd expect a rookie to act when being mixed up with a nine year pro in Magloire, but Jerebko did not back down one bit.
"He got me on the nose, and I got him back," Jerebko said. "What can I say?"
Jerebko, like Detroit's other rookies, has shown a willingness to get physical.
"We're rookies, but if you get us, we have to get you back," he said.
You probably don't like seeing one of your rookie players with a bloody nose and walking off the court due to an ejection, but you have to love seeing that type of fire, especially in a preseason game when you know Jerebko is fighting, literally, for playing time.
Being a Detroit fan we're used to seeing tough Swedes on our NHL team, as they are full of them, but Jerebko, the first Swedish born NBA player, is quickly getting us acclimated to what it might be like having one on the Pistons. Considering we did pretty well during the Bad Boys era, this type of tough, not backing down for nothing, type of play is something fans can definitely get accustomed to again.
Unfortunately, this throw down in fisticuffs might cost Jerebko a hefty fine and possibly a suspension from the league, as is usually the standard when punches fly during a game.
No matter what happens, it was good seeing Jerebko defend himself and earn the respect of his teammates and fans. Hopefully, for his sake, the coaching staff took notice, too.