NBA referee Joe Forte ejected singer Jimmy Buffett from his seat along the baseline at Sunday's game between the Knicks and Heat.
Forte said he tossed Buffett for using profanity.
"He was there with his son," said Heat coach Pat Riley, who had a front-row seat for the commotion. "I don't think it was that bad."
The altercation delayed the game several minutes in the fourth quarter. Heat officials said Buffett, whose fans are called "Parrotheads," was escorted to another seat for the remainder of the game.
"He was using profanity," Forte said. "There was a little boy sitting next to him and a lady sitting by him. He used some words he knows he shouldn't have used."
Forte said he did not know the man was the legendary singer.
"I told Joe Forte, I said, 'Do you know who that is?'" Riley said. "I said, 'Do you mean to tell me you've never been a Parrothead in your life?'.
"He thought I was insulting him. He wanted to give me a technical for calling him a Parrothead."