MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) — The NBA has fined Grizzlies coach David Fizdale $30,000 for his rant against the officiating in Memphis’ 96-82 loss to San Antonio in Game 2 of their first-round playoff series.
The league announced the fine Wednesday. The Grizzlies are practicing later Wednesday. The Spurs lead the series 2-0 heading into Game 3 on Thursday night in Memphis.
Fizdale blasted the officiating in a nearly two-minute tirade during his postgame press conference Monday night. Fizdale called the work of veteran crew Danny Crawford, Rodney Mott and Bill Spooner “unprofessional” and “unacceptable” before slamming his fist on a table and storming off.
After initially saying he needed to “have a glass of wine on the plane” to analyze what happened, Fizdale unleashed a nearly two-minute tirade during a postgame interview that grew increasingly louder.
“It was a very poorly officiated basketball game,” Fizdale said. “Zach Randolph, the most rugged guy in the game, has zero free throws, but somehow Kawhi Leonard had 19 free throws?”
The first-year head coach noted that Leonard took more free throws (19) than all his Grizzlies (15) despite Memphis attempting 17 more shots in the paint than San Antonio.
“I’m not a numbers guy, but that doesn’t seem to add up,” Fizdale said.
The trio of Crawford, Spooner and Mott have officiated more than 400 playoff games over careers that span more than two decades for each, but Fizdale was irate with their performance.
Fizdale wasn’t sure if his status as a first-year coach or his team’s decorum had anything to do with the lopsided numbers, but he wasn’t happy with the result.
“We don’t get the respect that these guys deserve because Mike Conley doesn’t go crazy, he has class and he just plays the game,” Fizdale said. “But I’m not going to let them treat us that way. I know (San Antonio coach Gregg Popovich has) got pedigree and I’m a young rookie, but they are not going to rook us.
“That’s unacceptable, that was unprofessional. My guys dug in that game and earned the right to be in that game and they did not even give us a chance.”