“I thought that we got tired for obvious reasons. Very short-handed. Thought our guys played hard and I thought we ran out of gas,” Blatt said. “I thought fatigue played a big part of that, I really did.”
James, however, rejected his coach’s softer stance. When asked whether fatigue was a factor, James said, “No. It’s not an excuse.” When another reporter asked whether injuries were to blame, James repeated, “It’s not an excuse.”
The referees’ union now has another incident to watch after Wednesday’s game between the Milwaukee Bucks and Sacramento Kings at the BMO Harris Bradley Center. With the visiting Kings up 120-109 at the 1:49 of the fourth quarter, Bucks head coach Jason Kidd attempted to call a timeout before an inbounds pass from O.J. Mayo on the other side of the floor. Kidd apparently had some trouble getting the officials’ attention, because he ran over to the opposite sideline. Something happened as he walked back with referee Zach Zarba, though, because Kidd straight-up slapped the ball out of his hands.
Kidd said he was sticking up for himself and protecting his players before he was tossed. “I walked all the way down to get a timeout,” Kidd said, “and then we had our discussion. He gave me the T. “From there, I’m trying to protect my guys. Understanding we felt we were getting fouled and the whistle wasn’t being blown. What happens in this league, you have to stand up for yourself, and my job is to protect those young guys.