Reserve big man Tristan Thompson had a meltdown late in the game, but it wasn’t because of the play of his teammates. It was because of the officials. After he picked up two technicals expressing his displeasure with a review, he dropped a series of expletives before being escorted off the court that likely will cost him a fine with the league office. Lost in the bad defeat to a 31-42 Pelicans team was a stellar performance by Zach LaVine, who scored a season-high 39 points on 12-for-23 shooting. And as frustrated as he was with the loss, getting in the face of teammates just isn’t in his personality. “I think everybody is on high alert,’’ LaVine said. “You’re not going to tell somebody to act a different way. I’m not going to try to turn into something I’m not. I think that’s fake. People can see through that. I think everybody knows what’s ahead of us and what we need to do.’’
JD Shaw: Knicks star Julius Randle has been fined $40,000 for directing hostile language toward a game official. Randle is the fifth player to be fined by the NBA today, with the total now at $140,000.
Mark Medina: NBA issued Draymond Green with a $25,000 fine for "directing profane language toward a game official" during his ejection in the Warriors' two-point loss to San Antonio on Sunday.
Jokes aside, he went on to explain in a calm-but-firm rant that he feels defenders are being allowed to get away with excessive contact on plays where he goes to the hoop. “I’m intentionally trying to get to the basket, get to the free-throw line, and I’m airballing layups — that’s not me. And I just felt like, at that point, I just had to sound off because it was just getting ridiculous,” he said. “… I’m not going to make this solely a ‘Donovan being officiated different’ thing, but I do feel there are times when I don’t get to those calls, and I was tired of it. “I am tired of it because I’m working my a-- off to get downhill and try to create [for] our offense,” Don added. “… I’m constantly being hand-checked or stopped with two hands because I’m so strong. That can’t keep continuing to happen. It leads to turnovers, bad shots … it puts everyone in a bad spot.”
Dallas Mavericks superstar Luka Doncic has declared he is done ranting at referees and has discovered a trick to help prevent him from venting his frustration when the whistle doesn't go his way. "It's a funny thing -- I just start singing a song in my head," Doncic said after Friday night's 111-101 loss to the Philadelphia 76ers, when he had a frustrating performance (17 points, 5-of-20 shooting, six turnovers) but no confrontations with the officials. "One of my favorite songs I pick and just start singing and let [the frustration] pass.
"I think these last couple of games I've been great with officials. If I think I'm fouled, I just go to him and talk to him normal. But that's it. It's got to be this way." Doncic, who added that he decides between a Slovenian and a Serbian song, has been called for an NBA-leading 15 technical fouls this season, one of which was rescinded after review by the league office. That means he is two technical fouls shy of an automatic one-game suspension, which is levied when a player reaches 16 technicals during the regular season and every two technicals thereafter.
Having apparently seen enough of his team retching all over itself, Popovich picked an argument with referee Bennie Adams and got himself mercifully ejected. He left the court with a wink. Unfortunately for Hammon and everyone else on the Spurs’ roster, they had to stick around to watch the rest of the kiester-kicking the Pelicans administered. C.J. McCollum went for 20 points and Naji Marshall added 18 off the bench as New Orleans handed the Spurs their most lopsided defeat of the season.
BasketNews.com: Gregg Popovich gets ejected in the 2nd quarter and winks at his team before exiting the floor 😉😂 🎥 @NBATV
In terms of controlling emotions during games, the Knicks haven’t set the best example. Thibodeau’s complaining to the referees is typically loud and demonstrative. Top executive William Wesley had also been animated during games toward referees, especially on the road, and was spotted last season storming around in a tantrum behind the basket in Barclays Center.
Anthony Chiang: Last 2 Minute report says no-call that led to jump ball late in last night’s Heat-Bucks game was correct ruling. “Antetokounmpo (MIL) and Butler (MIA) arrive at the ball simultaneously during the inbound pass and the body contact that occurs is incidental.”
The Kings were not pleased with the officiating at the end of the game. Jokic nearly fouled out late in the fourth quarter, but officials ignored a questionable screen on Fox and later overturned a call that would have sent Barnes to the free-throw line. “It’s interesting,” Barnes said. “You get fouled on a play, no call. You talk to the refs. They say they missed it and you kind of go from there. It happens once, it’s fine, but when it happens multiple times, you sit at the end of the game and wonder. That’s six to eight to 10 free throws, right? Well, what could have happened?”
Vincent Goodwill: Wow, officials eject Hamidou Diallo for “touching an official” during play. Looked like he was trying to get his balance coming from out of bounds. The officiating has gotten ridiculous
Following a series of officiating reviews that slowed the fourth quarter to a glacial pace, the Lakers lost to the Clippers 105-102 — a loss that could have significant implications with the two teams closely connected in the standings. A very upset Lakers coach Frank Vogel called the decisions “B.S.” — his issue with a final-minute review that took the ball from the Lakers with a chance to lead and gave it to the Clippers. After Russell Westbrook missed a go-ahead shot, James grabbed the ball and tried to save it, with the Clippers’ Robert Covington swatting the ball out of bounds. Vogel called a timeout with nine seconds on the shot clock to call a play, but the Clippers challenged the call — specifically whether James was out of bounds or not. “It definitely impacted the moment,” James said.
Vogel passionately argued afterward that the two plays weren’t connected — James being out and Covington being out — and that the Clippers shouldn’t have been able to challenge a play (James being out of bounds) when it had passed and play had continued. “I disagree strongly with the ruling,” he said. “…It’s just wrong.” A lengthy replay ruling confirmed that James stepped out of bounds before saving the ball. “I’ve never seen that,” James said.
Tim MacMahon: Per Second Spectrum, Luka Doncic was 1-of-3 with a shot-clock violation in 4 isos vs. Rudy Gobert in 4th. Doncic: "I like the matchup. I think twice I got fouled, but I know the ref – he won’t call a foul. I know every time, he don’t like me, but I thought I got fouled."
Ryan Miller: Rudy Gobert is told that Luka Donic said Gobert was fouling him. Gobert shrugs... "I'm not a ref."
Eric Walden: Rudy on the Luka iso: "He knows I'm trying to take away his stepback. And then he's driving and I know he's going to try to use my body and then stop, so I've got to stay balanced and absorb the contact. And then he's going to try and get me in the air, so I've got to stay down."
NBA Central: Ken Mauer admits Russell Westbrook receives an unfair whistle “We miss on him and we miss on him because he was so strong, he’d finish. He’d get fouled, and we’d missed plays on him. And I’d go back and look at plays and I’d come to him after the game,” pic.twitter.com/Xz4w95J2qS
Clutch Points: Patrick Beverley and Gary Trent Jr. getting into it on this jumpball. Timberwolves and Raptors HYPED early 🔥 pic.twitter.com/9PvVBYYWu2
Jimmy Butler: There are some real rivalries out there. I just think the game has changed in a lot of ways. They’re not letting you get into no brawls no more. Nobody’s going to let you do that. I wish that they would let us do that a little bit, if I’m just being honest. I really do think they’re still there. The game has just changed. It’s not as much banging and knocking people to the ground anymore. You can’t do it like that—you get a flagrant 1, a flagrant 2, a tech, something. I wish it would go back to that time.
James never holds back from complaining when he thinks calls are missed. In fact, he has a reputation for being a bit of a whiner. But he also rarely goes too far. To put things in perspective, James' teammates on the Lakers, Carmelo Anthony and Russell Westbrook, lead the league with 12 technical fouls each this season. James has none. And over his 19-season career, he has been ejected from only two games. (Compare that to Rasheed Wallace, who had 317 technical fouls and was ejected from a record 29 games over his 16-season career).
Over the years, Popovich has massaged his technique with officials. He and Crawford ended up developing a deep mutual respect, even though at times their jobs were adversarial. "As serious as Pop is on the sidelines, that man is a funny guy and a very respectful guy of the profession," said Crawford, who retired in 2017 following a 31-year career as an NBA referee. "He would crack jokes every now and then, and you could crack jokes back to him. You could be in a heated conversation with Pop, and it will end with both guys laughing."
Chris Kirschner: Trae Young: "When Tony Brothers mentions to me how many years he's reffed in this league, I don't give a damn. That just gets fired me up. I don't think I'm emotionally drunk. I'm just competitive. It brings the best out of me and my teammates."
Ryan Miller: Mike Conley on the non-calls: "It's always one of the things I wonder if I'm more of a guy that gets techs and argues a lot maybe I get more respect in that manner. For me, it just seems pretty A to B, like you should be able to make the easy call."
Khobi Price: Magic guard Cole Anthony has been fined $25,000 for directing profane and derogatory remarks toward a game official, the league announced. The incident happened in Wednesday's loss to the Clippers.
Sarah Todd: This is the foul that Hassan Whiteside just said was "bull****. And I stand by that." pic.twitter.com/MrY0hS9e4o
Tony Jones: Whiteside: that call was bullshit. I stand on that. He said Smith jumped in front of him and fell down
The Timberwolves were 26-for-31 from the charity stripe, while the Nets took just 15 free throws. Harden — outplayed by former Net D’Angelo Russell — shot 4 of 13 and was just 4 of 4 from the line, not getting the benefit of the whistle. “I don’t know [why],” Harden said. “When I go to the basket it’s the same calls that other guys are getting. Obviously you can’t call all of them, but there’s ones where there’s clearly stiff-arms and trips and things; but on the other end there’s no consistency. It’s frustrating, but whatever. [This] was a tough one for us.”
When Nash and Harden were asked if the All-Star wasn’t getting the benefit of the whistles he always had, both emphatically said no. “I just go to the basket. I have the right to do that,” said Harden, who added he’s gotten no explanation from the refs. “Nothing. Honestly. Like I didn’t see it, or I didn’t think it was a foul. But it’s clear — extremely clear. I don’t want to talk about it. I’ve got to keep going. That’s not going to stop me. Keep getting to the basket, keep being aggressive and keep making plays for my team.”
Dave Early: Reporter: "Do you feel like you're getting the benefit of the whistle in the same way [you have in the past]?" James Harden "No." Reporter: "Why do you think that is?" James Harden: "That's a good question. I mean, I dunno. I don't even want to talk about it." pic.twitter.com/O8og8HG1Pe
Brian Lewis: Kyrie Irving: "We just want to start the game with a consistent whistle." Says Harden gets fouled "and deserves that respect" of the appropriate call. #Nets
Nash said that he feels Harden is the poster child for the new emphasis from officials this season. "I think it's been well-documented that he's one of the poster childs," Nash said. "I think the start of the year was rough, [the officials] were really trying to correct the point of emphasis. I think they overcorrected. Now we come back to the middle, but tonight was one of those nights where I felt like some of the calls that should go his way didn't."
Chicago head coach Billy Donovan had strong words about the play, and about Allen, after the game. "It was really bad," he began. "It was really, really bad. We lost Patrick (Williams) on a flagrant foul, a pretty significant injury. I said this after the game, (New York's) Mitchell Robinson was trying to make a legitimate play on the basketball. For Alex to be in the air and for him to take him down like that, he could’ve ended his career.
"He has a history of this. That to me was really, it was really dangerous. I hope the league takes a hard look at something like that because they could have really, really seriously hurt him. He’s dealing with his wrist right now. I don’t know to what extent his wrist is, but just being there, it was really, really dangerous to go after somebody like that. "I personally thought it was – it wasn’t good. It was not good. For it to be even be extended to a Flagrant 2 and be thrown out of the game, clearly the officials must have felt there was some intent there, the way he yanked him and snapped him to the floor, his head bounced off the floor. Really, really, really dangerous play."
Rob Schaefer: Alex Caruso, asked if Grayson Allen came over to check on him after taking him out: “No.”
This was the first time Allen has been called for a flagrant foul this season and the second such foul in his career -- although he was tossed from a Summer League game in 2019 after committing two flagrant fouls within seconds of each other. "I don't think Grayson's a dirty player," Bucks forward Khris Middleton said. "He's been great with us all season long. Competing. Defending. Never really crossing the line. So I think we're all disappointed to see him ejected for that foul."
During postgame interviews, officiating crew chief Ben Taylor said none of the officials saw the infraction and that there is no mechanism in place for such a play to be reviewed. “That was also horse s---, too,” Kuzma said of the play after the game. “You’ve got Steve Nash blocking the ref’s view. He can’t see s---. I don’t know what else to say. It’s very unfortunate, but you’ve just got to live with it.”
Jon Krawczynski: Referee Bill Kennedy, from the pool report, on Edwards' ejection: "The first was for an overt gesture and the use of profanity directed toward an official. The second was for aggressively approaching the official while continuing his use of profanity."
Dane Moore: D'Angelo Russell: "The refs made up some stuff throughout the game. It was all over the place, honestly. There was a few plays -- and I'm not saying it was the refs -- but I'm sayin it was a few calls. There was a play where I'm not sure if it was a flagrant or a jump ball."
Dane Moore: Karl-Anthony Towns on the flagrant foul: "I've never seen it in basketball before. I've never seen it in the NBA... All I'll say is Dirk Nowitzki got put on the floor for the same shot." No more on the topic from KAT. He said, "telling the truth gets you fined, so no comment".
With just under six minutes left in the game, the Wizards faced a 109-103 deficit. Spencer Dinwiddie handled the ball at the 3-point line and attempted a pass to Kyle Kuzma in the corner, but Nets coach David Vanterpool stuck his hand out from the bench and forced a slight misdirection. It was enough for Kuzma to bobble the ball, which was recovered by Nets forward Kessler Edwards. With just under six minutes left in the game, the Wizards faced a 109-103 deficit. Spencer Dinwiddie handled the ball at the 3-point line and attempted a pass to Kyle Kuzma in the corner, but Nets coach David Vanterpool stuck his hand out from the bench and forced a slight misdirection. It was enough for Kuzma to bobble the ball, which was recovered by Nets forward Kessler Edwards.
In the aftermath of Sunday night’s 125-102 loss to the Jazz, Aaron Gordon offered perhaps the most forceful defense Nikola Jokic has ever received from a teammate regarding officiating. “It’s crazy that Jok doesn’t get more free throws,” Gordon began. “Jok was 3 for 3 from the free-throw line. That’s unbelievable. … The fact that Jok was 3 for 3 from the free-throw line is just not even right. He’s fouled every play. Obviously, the refs aren’t going to call it every play. They’re all over his arms, they’re all over his body, they’re grabbing him. He’s just not officiated the same way as everybody else. “It’s not right,” Gordon continued. “He’s the reigning MVP of the league, and he’s getting three free throws a game, still doing what he’s doing. But he needs more foul calls because they’re fouling. It’s not like begging, it’s not asking for something that’s not there. We’re just asking for him to be officiated like everybody else is being officiated because that’s not right. He’s being fouled all the time. He needs more foul calls.”
Mike Singer: Asked Nikola about the 29-8 free throw disparity and what he says to the refs: “I’m really trying not to talk to them because I try to and then I get technical, ejected," he said. "So I don’t even try to talk to them anymore.”
Michael Singer: Asked Aaron Gordon whether he could sympathize with the way Nikola Jokic is whistled. This is perhaps the biggest defense I've ever heard from a Jokic teammate. pic.twitter.com/XWk4T0tXjv
Omari Sanfoka II: Cunningham on who he pointed at: "I had my people right behind the bench. I went baseline to dunk the ball, and he's right in-between me and my people. I probably should've read that situation better. I don't get into taunting too much, I'm usually chilling after a play."
Eric Nehm: Bucks coach Mike Budenholzer: "Giannis gets 17 free throws, but I think you could argue he could have 27 or 30 free throws. As a team, we had 35. I think you could argue we could have had 45 or 50."
Fox let the ball hit the floor and alerted officials, expecting them to reset the clock and award possession to Sacramento, but that’s not what happened. After a lengthy discussion, officials called a jump ball because neither team had established possession when the whistle was blown. The Lakers won the jump ball and held on to win the game. Gentry said officials correctly interpreted a “dumbass” rule. “Before you ask me about that play, it’s a horse s--- rule in the NBA,” Gentry said. “The referees did exactly what they were supposed to do. It is the rule. They enforced the rule the way it is, and so if anything needs to be changed, the rule needs to be changed. I think there’s got to be some common sense. We had the basketball right there. They started the clock. We didn’t start the clock. It wasn’t our error and so we got punished for a dumbass rule. That’s the bottom line, but it had nothing to do with the officials. All they did was exactly what they were supposed to do.”
“I didn’t realize that, and I don’t know why it would be a rule anyway,” Gentry said. “I mean, I think you’ve got to use common sense somewhere along the line. There’s a missed free throw. We have the basketball in our possession. We didn’t start the clock, so it was not our error, so we get punished for somebody else’s error. I don’t understand that. I don’t understand how that works. “I just want to make sure everybody understands, the referees, all the they did was enforce the rule as it was written. It wasn’t their decision. It wasn’t anything. The just enforced the rule as it is written, so the rule is the thing that needs to be changed in that situation. There’s no way in hell that ball shouldn’t have been in our possession in a five-point game with 25 seconds to play. That’s an eternity in the NBA.”
Nikola Jokic got fed up after multiple no-calls with six minutes left against the Wizards. He vented to the officiating crew and it backfired. The Nuggets’ reigning MVP got ejected with a double-technical Monday night at Ball Arena. “To be honest, I think I didn’t deserve it, especially an ejection,” Jokic told reporters after a 113-107 victory. “I just said: ‘Call a foul.’ Because I thought it was a foul.”
After the game, Paul was asked about his incident with the official and if he got a reason for the technical foul. “Did I get an explanation on why I got the tech? No, I didn’t get an explanation,” Chris Paul explained. I had an exchange with that official a few games ago about a rule about taking the ball out on one side of the court, you know when you get fouled if you can take it out. He tried to flex. I’ve been doing this 13 years, you know what I mean. They cleared up the rule with him, though, you know what I mean. They let him know what the rule was when he tried to tell me what the rule was. He must be salty about it. It’s all good.”
Tomer Azarly: “I had an exchange with that official a few games ago about a rule about taking the ball out on one side of the court… He tried to flex. I’ve been doing this 13 years. They cleared up the rule with him though… He must be salty about it. It’s all good." Chris Paul on his tech.
Ajayi Browne: “It’s difficult for the officials to officiate a different way — That was very difficult at first … The officials have realized there was an over correction.” ⁃Steve Nash on James Harden not getting foul calls earlier this season.
JD Shaw: Grizzlies guard Dillon Brooks has been fined $25,000 for aggressively confronting a game official and failing to leave the court in a timely manner after his ejection.
After his second technical foul with 27.5 seconds left, Brooks was restrained by Grizzlies assistants after his first ejection of the season. He left to cheers from the FedExForum crowd despite the Grizzlies' five-game winning streak ending. During his postgame press conference, he saved his venom for the referees afterwards when he only answered one question about the officiating before leaving. "As you saw in the game, we've been playing physical basketball for about a week now. And all of a sudden, new officials come in here and they call an inconsistent game. They want to call ticky-tack in the first half and then in the second half they want to call nothing," Brooks said. "And then you got guys getting undercut, getting hit on the floor, no call. There's a lack of protection of the players and that's the main thing, I felt like this crew came out there and just made it about them and that's bull."
"Obviously I can't put it all on them. We got to get the 50/50 balls, you got to be able to rebound the basketball, you got to be able to hit shots in timely ways. But this crew did not protect the players. They just wanted to get the game over with and that's (expletive). That's (expletive) from the very beginning. That's bull." The comments will likely draw a fine from NBA in the coming days for criticizing the officiating. In his five seasons, Brooks has yet to be fined for in-game or postgame comments.
Callie Caplan: Kristaps Porzingis just got a tech, seemingly delayed for clapping at an official while the Grizzlies ran back in transition. He responds with a ferocious dunk on the next possession.
Omari Sanfoka II: Casey on Cunningham’s lack of foul-drawing: “There’s been opportunities for him to get contact at the rim and get fouled. Over his career he will get there, he will draw fouls, just because of his game and how he gets to the rim”
"I would lean toward playing 5-on-5 a bit more," Kidd said when asked about Doncic's frequent discussions with the referees. "You're not going to get any calls. Officials, they tend to not stop the game to change calls. You have to understand there's a point in time in games -- dead balls -- to be able to talk to officials. "While the game is going on, transition defense is one of the things we've talked about that we have to get better. If we're lobbying for calls during live play, it puts us in harm's way ... Just some things have got to be a little bit more important. I think we're going to get better at understanding as a team when to talk to officials. Not just Luka."
Casey Holdahl: According to an analysis of Twitter data by @betonline_ag, Trail Blazers fans complain the least about referees while Lakers fans complain the most pic.twitter.com/XgCtQjpQSS
The Knicks' Julius Randle and coach Tom Thibodeau walked off the Barclays Center floor on Tuesday night talking to each other and "pissed" at the officiating during their 112-110 loss to the Brooklyn Nets.
Randle had 24 points, nine rebounds and eight assists but went to the line only twice the entire game. The Knicks' star forward initially did not want to talk about the officiating until he was asked whether he was surprised he isn't getting the benefit of calls usually reserved for a team's star. "Got to ask them," Randle said of the officiating crew of Scott Foster, Mark Lindsay and Jason Goldenberg. "I don't know what they're watching or what they're seeing. As aggressive as I played, attacking the paint, I can't be penalized for just being stronger than people. And that is an answer that I got today."
The 6-foot-8 and 250-pound Randle said the crew told him that his stature and strength are why he isn't getting more calls. "They said because certain contact doesn't affect me like it affects other players," Randle said. "Because I am stronger, they miss the calls." "It pisses me off even more," Randle said when asked what his reaction is when he hears that. "To be honest with you, because that is not how you officiate the game."
But what really set Thibodeau off was how Randle was officiated. "I want to watch the film but ... something's not right," Thibodeau said. "I don't know [why]. I don't know. I am watching what is going on both ways. [The Nets] are a good team. They played well. But I know Julius is driving that ball pretty darn hard. "And I'm pissed."
"I want to take a look at the film but ... there is a big discrepancy in free throws, I can tell you that," Thibodeau said. "So Julius is driving the ball, and he gets two free throws? "I don't really care about how the game is called. I really don't. You can call it tight. You can call it loose. But it's got to be the same."
Josh Lewenberg: VanVleet on tonight’s foul/free throw disparity: “I promise if you write about it I will not be mad, but unless you have $25,000 to spare I’m gonna stay away from officiating comments other than to say it was a tough night for us on that end of the whistle.”
Kerith Burke: Kerr on Steph's tech: "When he knows he's right, the competitor in him comes out. He'll kinda of lose his mind a little bit. It'll often spurn him."
July 3, 2022 | 9:44 pm EDT Update
For the Nets, trading Kevin Durant correctly is a lot more important than doing it quickly. League personnel who spoke to The Post said Nets general manager Sean Marks — and by default team owner Joe Tsai as well — are adamant about getting back All-Star caliber talent in return for Durant. And with their disgruntled star having four years left on his contract, the Nets are in no rush to deal.
League executives who spoke with The Post said Toronto was not only well-positioned, but confident of being able to put together the best package. The Raptors have balked at the notion of putting Rookie of the Year Scottie Barnes in any deal, although those same executives opined that could be a negotiating ploy by savvy Masai Ujiri, who has a history of pulling off huge trades.
Seemingly every contender has touched base on Durant, with some even showing tepid interest in Kyrie Irving. Philadelphia spoke with the Nets, although a source told The Post “nothing happened there.”
The 76ers — who are currently negotiating with James Harden — are keeping an eye on Irving, a source told The Post. And with former Nets point guard Goran Dragic spurning Dallas to ink a one-year deal with Chicago — according to Boardroom, which is owned by Durant — The Athletic reported that the Mavericks are also showing interest in Irving.
Kellan Olson: Suns have announced their Summer League roster. Ish Wainright is on the squad. Former Colorado guard McKinley Wright IV also in there. Same case as last year with a handful of guys from overseas.
Anthony Slater: James Wiseman played 5-on-5 full contact today for the first time in this reintegration. He remains on track for a likely summer league appearance in Las Vegas at some point. Jonathan Kuminga will meet team in Vegas, could get some action.
July 3, 2022 | 7:04 pm EDT Update
Marc Stein: Frank Ntilikina’s $2 million contract for next season becomes guaranteed tomorrow and the Mavericks’ intention, league sources say, is indeed to retain the former Knicks lottery pick. More NBA from me: marcstein.Substack.com