Celtics head coach Doc Rivers has been fined $15,000 for verbal abuse of game officials, it was announced today by Stu Jackson, NBA executive vice president, basketball operations.
Rivers was fined for his action following the Celtics’ 110-109 overtime loss to the visiting Los Angeles Lakers on Thursday, Feb. 5 at TD Banknorth Garden. The fine was levied specifically because Rivers berated officials on the floor directly after the game.
Down by a point with three seconds remaining in overtime, Celtics guard Ray Allen appeared to be hand-checked by Derek Fisher before dribbling to his right and throwing up a wild shot as time expired. No foul was called on the play. Earlier in the game, Celtics forward Kevin Garnett picked up his sixth foul chasing down a loose ball.
Rivers had this to say about the officiating in the postgame press conference:
“I thought [the last play] was a hand check. I did. But the officials say that they don’t call the game different from the first quarter to the end of the game. And if that’s true, then Ray should’ve been on the free throw line. I just thought it was a hand check from the time Ray caught it, pushed them all away. I didn’t think when Ray fell — Fisher, yeah, it was a hand check the whole way. And unless the rules have changed, you can’t do that.”
“Listen, I thought in the third and fourth quarter the game got out of control. I really did. And I thought the officials allowed it to get out of control. I just thought there was a lot of chippiness. You know, it’s funny, 30 seconds into the second half, I yelled out on the floor, and said, ‘Guys, there’s elbows. Clean it up.’ And I thought we kept getting — we were the retaliators a lot tonight. And we got caught, obviously. But they missed the first ones, a lot. And so I thought once the game went there, I thought both teams were out. I thought it was just a chippy game in the second half, and it didn’t need to be. It could’ve been a much cleaner game. And I really thought that the way that was called in that stretch changed the game.”