The NBA fined Grizzlies’ head coach David Fizdale $30,000 for his public criticism of the officiating in Memphis’ Game 2 loss to the San Antonio Spurs on Monday. That fine won’t come out of his own pockets, but out of his players’.
Mike Conley texted Fizdale early Tuesday morning, thanking his coach for sticking up for him and his teammates. He said the team will reimburse their head coach for the fine, according to the Commercial-Appeal’s Ronald Tillery.
re: Fizdale rant/fine: Mike Conley sent Fiz a ‘Thank you’ text Tuesday at 4 am, and said players will collectively reimburse Fiz.
— Ronald Tillery (@CAGrizBeat) April 19, 2017
Memphis lost Game 2 to San Antonio, 92-86, but a disparity in free throw attempts played a role in the outcome. The Spurs went to the foul line 32 times versus the Grizzlies’ 15 trips, and Kawhi Leonard took more free throws (19) than Memphis as a whole.
Fizdale cold-cocked the officiating crew during his post-game press conference, deeming their calls as “unprofessional” and “unacceptable.”
— NBA TV (@NBATV) April 18, 2017
“I know [Spurs’ coach Gregg Popovich] has pedigree and I’m a young rookie, but they’re not gonna ‘rook’ us,” he said.
In our analysis of Game 2, we found the referees did, indeed, miss a load of foul calls, while sending San Antonio to the line for lesser contact. At least now the players know coach has their back.
And in reimbursing the fine, Fizdale knows they have his, too.