Paul George knew he would be fined the second these words left his mouth.
“I’m sorry, just bad officiating. We don’t get a fair whistle. We haven’t gotten a fair whistle all year. … Somebody’s got to look into this. It’s getting out of hand, where we somehow just walk teams to the line. And there’s nobody that gets more contact. If I don’t speak for myself, I speak for Russ. There’s nobody that gets more contact than Russ going to the basket. And it’s just crazy.
“I don’t understand it. It’s a piece of s*** being on that floor. We giving everything we got. We’re playing hard. We’re getting grabbed, we’re getting scratched, clawed, held, shoved. And there’s nothing for it. The officials just get to walk out, and there’s nothing that penalizes them for not officiating the game the right way.”
George was frustrated after a Thunder loss to the Clippers where he, Russell Westbrook, and Steven Adams all fouled out while the Clippers shot 20 more free throws than Oklahoma City. This was George’s sixth foul, did he deserve it?
Whatever George thinks, he knows this is a fine and the league handed down the standard $25,000 one on Saturday.
We could get into how every player and coach thinks “officiating the game the right way” would lead to them getting a lot more calls, because obviously they get hacked every time they drive the lane while their bigs rarely foul opposition guys on the attack. Just know that the Clippers lead the NBA in free throw attempts per game — they do play a physical, downhill style of play that draws a lot of fouls — while the Thunder commit the fourth most fouls in the league. This was not unpredictable.
Expect more of this. With the playoffs coming and games carrying more pressure, every call will be scrutinized and plenty of coaches and players will be complaining. And racking up fines.