The league went all Micky Gordon yesterday, handing out fines like parking tickets. Then, in a press conference before the Lakers-Thunder game, NBA commissioner David Stern was so fed up with coaches criticizing officials that he threatened suspensions for anyone who felt the need to speak their mind any further. Celtics coach Doc Rivers, who was fined earlier in the year for arguing with officials in a loss to Atlanta, agreed with Stern to an extent, but said it’s easy for Stern to be level-headed from his office.
“It’s a competitive game,” Rivers said. “I think it’s a lot easier from the stands. It’s easy to be calm and collected. But coaches fight for their players, they fight for their team. That’s what you get hired for. So that’s what you’re going to do … I think David is half right on that one. Sometimes we do know, but I think sometimes we really are defending our guys. I think everybody’s on the league side at the end of the day. Listen, I’ve been a league guy for 20-whatever years. I love this league, and I want this league to do well. I don’t think any coach doesn’t want the league to do well. Having said that, the coach’s job is to do what he can to help the team win.”