The rivalry between the Chicago Bulls and the Milwaukee Bucks doesn’t need any extra heat this season, but Grayson Allen was happy to pour gasoline on the fire Friday night.
Allen earned an ejection and a flagrant-2 foul after throwing Alex Caruso to the court to prevent a breakaway dunk in the Bulls’ 94-90 road loss to the Bucks.
But those repercussions couldn’t offset the ensuing disaster for the Bulls — the play fractured Caruso’s right wrist, an injury that requires surgery and will sideline the guard for at least six to eight weeks, the team announced Saturday.
Caruso will join Zach LaVine, Lonzo Ball, Javonte Green and Derrick Jones Jr. on the Bulls’ injury report.
The Bucks stoked outrage hours before Caruso’s injury was announced, tweeting a video of Allen playfully biting into a doughnut to promote their Saturday night game against the Sacramento Kings.
The Bulls shot back in the replies — “Seriously???” — as Bulls fans flooded the Bucks account’s mentions.
The Bucks later deleted the tweet, but their cavalier approach reflected that of Allen, who grinned and laughed at fans in the Fiserv Forum stands as he was escorted off the court. Caruso said Allen didn’t check on him at any point after the foul.
The foul came off a transition drive sparked by Ayo Dosunmu, who dished the ball to Caruso for a two-handed dunk attempt that was quickly interrupted. Allen hooked his left hand around Caruso’s forearm, twisting midair to swipe with his right hand. The force of the foul sent Caruso crashing to the court.
Caruso managed to half-catch himself on his way down so his shoulder and wrist absorbed most of the impact. After several minutes of medical attention, he played the rest of the game.
Coach Billy Donovan was fuming over the foul after the loss.
“He could’ve ended his career,” Donovan said. “And (Allen) has a history of this. That to me was really dangerous, and I really hope the league takes a hard look at that because he could’ve really, really seriously hurt him.”
Caruso’s reaction was even more blunt: “It was kind of (expletive).”
Donovan called for the NBA to pursue further action against Allen, citing the guard’s history of fouls dating to his time at Duke. Allen earned an unsavory reputation for incidents including a hip check against North Carolina, trips against Florida State and Louisville and a kick aimed at an Elon player.
Allen managed to tamp down the tripping in the NBA, but that didn’t keep him out of trouble. He was tossed from a Summer League game against the Boston Celtics while playing for the Memphis Grizzlies in 2019 — that time for shoving Grant Williams to the ground, then taking a swing at his head on the ensuing play.
That history only stoked the ire of Bulls fans, who were provided a full minute of the foul in slow-motion replay during the broadcast of the game.
Allen’s reaction to the foul sparked criticism across the league. Former NBA player and current ESPN analyst Richard Jefferson wrote on Twitter, “Grayson Allen giggling after receiving a flagrant 2 and being ejected seems pretty on brand for him.”
The teams won’t face each other again until March 4 at the United Center.