Luke Walton fined $15,000 for criticizing officials

According to The Athletic’s Shams Charania, Los Angeles Lakers head coach was fined $15,000 for saying not nice things about the officials Monday night following his team’s 143-142 loss to the San Antonio Spurs.

What seemed to be a source of consternation for Walton was the Spurs going to the free throw line more times than the Lakers , 38 to 26, though the Lakers were more aggressive in attacking the rim.  Per ESPN’s OhmYoungmisuk  

Let me start here. … I wasn’t going to say anything. I was going to save my money, but I just can’t anymore. It’s [74] points in the paint [by the Lakers] to 50, [and yet] again they outshoot us from the free throw line — 38 free throws [to 26 by the Lakers]. Watch the play where I got a technical foul. Watch what happened to LeBron James’ arm. It’s the same thing that James Harden and Chris Paul [drew fouls on and] shot 30 free throws on us the night before. … We are scoring 70 points a night. In the paint.


He also had this to say:

Watch how Josh Hart plays this game. He played 40 minutes tonight. All he does is attack the rim. Zero free throws tonight. Zero. So to me, it doesn’t matter. I know they’re young, I get that. But if we are going to play a certain way, let’s not reward people for flopping 30 feet from the hole on plays that have nothing to do with that possession. They’re just flopping just to see if they get a foul call. And then not reward players that are physically going to the basket and getting hit. It’s not right.


Since the preseason, Walton’s frustration has been steadily mounting as the Lakers have seemingly had difficulty adjusting to the NBA’s new “points of education” or points of emphasis from the referees on freedom of movement both in the post and on the perimeter. The league is looking to reduce “arm wraps, grabbing and dislodging by both offensive and defensive players.”

Lebron James said it has been difficult learning the new point of emphasis. Speaking further on the issue he had this to say:

It’s just hard with the new rule changes. You literally can’t touch anybody — well, you can, you can touch somebody defensively. You just can’t. There’s nothing [you can do]. We don’t know. We’re trying to figure it out. But every time we’re on the defensive end, especially in the third quarter, we just kept putting them to the free throw line. But we got to try to figure that out because it’s just giving teams too many easy opportunities to just go up there and knock down free throws.

“We are fouling, some of that is our fault,” Walton said. “We are going to continue to get better on that.”

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