Celtics coach Doc Rivers was fined $25,000 by the NBA today for publicly criticizing referee Bill Kennedy after a loss to Chicago last Tuesday. The penalty was determined by Stu Jackson. Referee Billy Kennedy was also fined an undisclosed amount for his conduct with Rivers at the end of the game, according to an NBA source. Neither was suspended any games.
With the Celtics trailing the Bulls, 124-119, following a timeout with 29.8 seconds left, Rivers received his second technical foul and was ejected. He said he was baited by Kennedy.
“The technical on which I got thrown out was the most unprofessional technical by a ref I’ve ever had,” Rivers said. “He stood there and goaded me and goaded me and stared at me.
“Look at the film. I actually walked away. He asked me, ‘Where do you want the ball?’ And I said, ‘Ask them,’ talking about my players. That’s my right to say that, and he walked away.
“He stood there and stared me down and stared me down and goaded me until I turned around and said, ‘What?’ That’s when I got thrown out of the game. In a [5-point] game? Think about that.”
Kennedy was not available for comment after the game or the fine. Had Rivers not made the comment about Kennedy he probably would not have been fined.