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UK great Scott Padgett and embattled ref Karl Hess had quite the confrontation

“Are you stepping to me right now?”

Samford v Tennessee Photo by Donald Page/Getty Images

Scott Padgett was an NCAA Champion with Kentucky.

In 1997 and 1998, he was named to the NCAA All Tournament team and in the 1998 Elite Eight against Duke hit a huge shot in way to Kentucky winning that year’s national championship against Utah. He is one of the great unspoken players in Kentucky’s deep history.

Karl Hess is a well-known name as well, but for no good reasons. He was literally fired as a referee by the ACC after taunting a Wake Forest staffer and has a history of some of the most outrageous blunders to ever be blundered.

These include giving Rick Pitino a technical foul for yelling at his own player in an Elite Eight game, having two teams play in the wrong direction in an overtime period, and ruining a Final Four game with frequent whistles.

These two legends, in their own right, managed to cross paths recently and came together for a moment that was nothing short of incredible as East Tennessee State defeated Samford Thursday night.

Scott Padgett is the head coach of Samford and this game in particular was being officiated by the man himself, Karl Hess. Certain things go hand-in-hand so naturally in the final minutes of a close game, Padgett was none too pleased about the calls being made.

Now, coaches bickering at officials for bad calls is a staple of the sport and happens all the time. What does not happen all the time is what Hess proceeds to do, which is all-out referee retaliation.

Hess literally charges towards Padgett as if punches were about to be thrown. Basketball has seen things like the Malice of the Palace when players started fighting fans mid-game and the all out brawl that took place between Xavier and Cincinnati back in 2011; but a notoriously bad referee running up on a sheer hulk of a head coach for complaining calls is one for the history books.

Now, it doesn’t really matter which era you played in, there’s a true sense of swagger that stays with Kentucky players no matter if they’re still playing or not. The old heads are no exception, and Padgett proved he still has his when he delivered his take on the situation, which was marvelous.

“If we’re on the street he’s running the other way just when he sees me walking by. I’m 6’9” about 280 lbs right now, not a lot of people step up to me,” a quote from what could be a legitimate bouncer, but instead a Division-1 head basketball coach.

For your great work, Scott Padgett, Big Blue Nation thanks you.