Hawks’ coach Mike Budenholzer suspended one game for making contact with referee


Mike Budenholzer was hot. He felt LeBron James pushed off on Kent Bazemore to create space and the offensive foul wasn’t called. He ran with Brian Forte down the floor, barking at him.

Then he touched the referee. That got him a technical.

Saturday, the league announced that Budenholzer was suspended one game as well for the incident. He will sit Sunday when the Hawks take on the Pacers.

Budenholzer bumped a referee last season as well but was not suspended — he was ejected and got a $25,000 fine from the league. That angered the referees union. After that, there was no way Budenholzer was getting the benefit of the doubt.

“I fully understand and respect the decision of the NBA,” Budenholzer said in a statement. “I plan to reach out to Brian as soon as possible and intend to apologize for the contact that I made during last night’s game. The referees have the most difficult job on the court and do an outstanding job of managing the needs of the game, players and coaches. I accept the suspension, will learn from it and look forward to moving beyond this.”