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Report: NBA still mulling fining Doc Rivers for criticizing referees

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Doc Rivers was livid after the Clippers’ Game 5 loss to the Thunder on Tuesday. Among Rivers’ criticism of the officials for the infamous out-of-bounds call:

  • “We got robbed because of that call. And it’s clear. Everybody in the arena saw it.”
  • “That could be a series-defining call. And that’s not right.”
  • “C’mon, they had it in the arena. Of course, you saw it. Steve Kerr was over there shaking his head. Everybody saw it.”
  • “I love them. I think all three of those officials are terrific officials. But on that call, they got it wrong. And that’s a game-defining and possibly a series-defining call. And that ain’t right.”

Asked about the NBA’s memos admitting officiating mistakes, Rivers said, “I’ll release the memo. They blew the call. That’s the memo.”

Turns out, the memo actually said, “The play correctly stood as called.”

Objecting to a wrong call does not typically give a coach license – at least from the league – to criticize the referees publicly, but that seemed to be Rivers’ only defense. Without that, there’s little working in his favor.

So, where is Rivers’ fine?

Dave McMenamin of ESPNLosAngeles.com:

As of Wednesday evening, the NBA had still not determined whether Rivers would be fined for publicly criticizing the officiating, according to a league source.

Maybe this is just the difference between David Stern’s NBA and Adam Silver’s.

I believe Jason Kidd is the only coach Silver has fined for criticizing officials so far, and maybe Silver is more lenient than his predecessor. Still, letting Rivers escape a fine here would be far removed from precedent.

I’d guess the league is debating not so much whether to fine Rivers, but how much. The NBA is also surely considering his berating of the officials on the court after the game.

I would be very surprised if the NBA doesn’t fine Rivers, but I’m already surprised it hasn’t happened yet, so who knows at this point?

Andre Drummond hits buzzer-beating heave from beyond halfcourt (VIDEO)

ATLANTA, GA - OCTOBER 27:  Andre Drummond #0 of the Detroit Pistons reacts in the final seconds of their 106-94 win over the Atlanta Hawks at Philips Arena on October 27, 2015 in Atlanta, Georgia.  NOTE TO USER User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading andor using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
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Andre Drummond is a terrible free-throw shooter…except, apparently, when he’s shooting from the other free-throw line. Monday night against the Raptors, Drummond cut Detroit’s deficit to five at the end of the third quarter with this three-quarter-court heave at the buzzer:

Now, if only he could work on his accuracy from his own free-throw line.

Joe Johnson banks in three to give Nets win over Nuggets (VIDEO)

NEW YORK, NY - FEBRUARY 03:  Joe Johnson #7 of the Brooklyn Nets dribbles against the Indiana Pacers during their game at the Barclays Center on February 3, 2016 in New York City.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
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Not a lot has gone right for the Nets this season, but an impressive clutch shot by seven-time All-Star Joe Johnson gave them their 14th win of the season on Monday. With time expiring, Johnson banked in a long three-pointer to put Brooklyn up 105-104 over Denver and secure the victory:

Johnson had 12 points on the night.

Report: Kings plan to fire George Karl in coming days

SACRAMENTO, CA - JANUARY 09:  Head coach George Karl of the Sacramento Kings stands on the side of the court during their game against the Golden State Warriors at Sleep Train Arena on January 9, 2016 in Sacramento, California.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
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For about a week, word has circulated throughout the NBA that George Karl’s days in Sacramento were numbered. They’ve lost eight of their last 10 games, and players have more or less checked out on him. Remember, it’s only been a year since the Kings unceremoniously ousted interim head coach Ty Corbin to bring Karl in, which came on the heels of their puzzling dismissal of Mike Malone in December 2014.

Now, ESPN.com’s Marc Stein reports that the Kings have made the decision to let Karl go:

The decision itself isn’t surprising—it always seemed to be a matter of “when,” not “if” Karl would be fired. But the optics here are not good. If everybody knows it’s coming, it makes no sense to leak that the change is going to happen hours or even days before it’s made official.

The report of the Kings’ decision on Karl comes on the heels of a concerning bombshell Rajon Rondo dropped following Sacramento’s 120-100 loss to the Cavaliers on Monday night.

Via the Sacramento Bee‘s Jason Jones:

Sports Illustrated‘s Jake Fischer further reported that only three players indeed showed up on Monday morning:

That’s a bad look for everybody involved. An optional shootaround is more or less unheard of in the NBA, and if only three players bothered to come, that’s an unignorable sign that the team has quit on Karl.

Karl-Anthony Towns fakes out Luke Babbitt with spin move (VIDEO)

ATLANTA, GA - NOVEMBER 09:  Karl-Anthony Towns #32 of the Minnesota Timberwolves reacts after hitting a basket against the Atlanta Hawks at Philips Arena on November 9, 2015 in Atlanta, Georgia.  NOTE TO USER User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
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Since he came into the league, Karl-Anthony Towns‘ offensive footwork has been unusually advanced for a rookie. He showed off his impressive moves again on Monday night, getting to the basket around Luke Babbitt with this spin: