OAKLAND, Calif. — The NBA fined Golden State coach Mark Jackson $25,000 on Thursday for making public comments in an attempt to influence the officiating in the Warriors’ playoff series with Denver.
After Golden State’s 107-100 loss in Game 5 at Denver on Tuesday night, Jackson said the Nuggets sent “hit men” and took “cheap shots” at point guard Stephen Curry. He repeatedly mentioned Kenneth Faried’s foul in the first half, when the forward stuck out his right leg and moved his body while Curry ran through traffic.
“For two years now, I’ve taken pride in not ever criticizing referees – for two years. And then reading the statement by the NBA, I’m extremely thankful I am not fined for criticizing referees,” Jackson said before Game 6 against the Nuggets on Thursday night.
Told the league fined him for an “attempt to influence the officiating,” Jackson responded: “I don’t like it, and I disagree.” He declined to say whether he would appeal the fine.
Jackson, who doubles as an ordained minister, had never been fined for criticizing officials in his two years as an NBA coach. He couldn’t recall being fined for criticizing officials in his 17 season as a point guard in the league, but said his team wouldn’t allow all the rhetoric – or his fine – to be a distraction.
“This is an awesome time. I truly don’t take it for granted,” Jackson said. “I smile, $25,000 lighter, but I’m smiling.”
Jackson also questioned how Denver might try to defend Curry before Wednesday’s practice.
“They’ll be physical again. They’ll try to beat up Steph Curry. They’ll try to set illegal screens. They’ll try to chuck him when he goes down the lane,” said Jackson, whose team took a 3-2 series lead into Game 6. “Other than that, I’m not sure what to expect out of them.”
Denver Nuggets coach George Karl thought the reaction to his team’s Game 5 victory sounded like a “different movie than I’m watching.” Karl also said: “I’ll go to any arbiter right now and show the dirty shots. They’re winning.”