Lead referee explains what they saw, decisions on Nets/Celtics fight

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NBA officials rarely speak to the media after games (there actually is a guard outside their dressing room door), but they make exceptions in special cases.

The fight between the Celtics and Nets — the one started when Rajon Rondo went at and shoved Kris Humphries and spilled out into the stands — is a special case.

Lead official James Capers spoke to a pool reporter after the game and A. Sherrod Blakely of CSNNE.com has a transcript of what Capers said and why the referees made the decisions they did (ejecting Rondo and Humphries, plus giving technical to Gerald Wallace and Kevin Garnett).

“Rondo initiated everything that proceeded after the foul. And when he and Humphries go into the stands, they are involved in a fight. Fighting is an automatic ejection.”

“When Kevin goes to the basket, he is re-routed by Humphries. So we had a personal foul for the re-route. Kevin is trying to continue — to get a continuation for shooting — and now Humphries hits him. Because the whistle blew, it was a dead-ball situation, and that’s a technical foul for contact during a dead ball. … What proceeds after that is a fight, so he’s ejected.”

The referee said from their courtside video review they did not see Garnett or Wallace throw a punch. So why did they get technicals:

“For the escalating of the event. And then Wallace (already) had one, therefore he was ejected.”

Wallace had gotten a technical earlier in the game for arguing a call with a referee.

I expect Rondo will get a pretty harsh suspension from the league, with Humphries getting a suspension as well. As for Garnett and Wallace, my guess is a fine. But the league likes to make examples in these cases, so we will see.