The NBA fined Stan Van Gundy for criticizing officiating during the Pistons-Cavaliers series.
He might have company in Detroit.
Asked about the play, Jackson, via Aaron McCann of MLive:
“Fines, suspensions, being fired,” Jackson said. “The same thing that happens to us. Make bad plays or questionable (calls), you’re not really being productive to the sport. They should have consequences, just like the players. That’s about (all) I’m going to say on that.”
The NBA does sometimes fine or suspend officials. They’re punished for improper behavior, not incorrect calls – just like players. Jackson doesn’t get fined or suspended for turnovers or missed shots.
He probably will get fined for this, though. He should have plausible deniability that he’s sharing a fair opinion about the whole system, not griping about a specific call. But the league never seems to allow that argument.
Unlike officials, players must regularly meet with the media, creating numerous opportunities to say something finable. Referees are largely shielded, only occasionally providing straightforward rule interpretations. They’d have to go out of their way to speak to reporters more often or in depth. Players face consequences if they shirk media responsibilities.
So, Jackson was in a tough spot – believing he was fouled and forced to talk after the game. He could’ve dodged the question, maybe even noting he didn’t want to get fined, which would still would’ve answered clearly. Instead, he answered honestly. It’ll probably cost him.