San Antonio Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich was not pleased with how the NBA handled the strange play from Washington Wizards assistant coach Sidney Lowe at the conclusion of a win over the Knicks.
On Thursday, the Wizards beat the Knicks after the Knicks failed to get off a final shot to tie the game in the final seconds.
After the game, Knicks guard Courtney Lee said he turned down an open shot because Lowe was on the floor, yelling in his ear, and he mistook him for another player. Replay of the possession showed Lowe on the court, yelling as the play was in action.
Lowe was fined $5,000 for the incident and the Wizards were fined $15,000.
On Saturday, Popovich criticized the play, saying (via San Antonio News Express), “It’s unsportsmanlike, it’s childish, it’s inappropriate. There’s no place for it.”
Popovich also said the NBA should enact harsher punishments, suggesting fines of $50,000 to $75,000 for coaches and $250,000 for the team.
“What if that shot costs a playoff game because somebody does that? Maybe that affects a coach being fired. Maybe a franchise winning a series. So if you think about it, maybe it’s worth it for $5,000 or $10,000 to go do that.”
He said such fines would ensure “Everybody would sit their ass down.”
Popovich continued, “I’ve been moaning and groaning about it for a decade, about everybody standing up on the bench when somebody shoots a three. If you were at your kid’s junior high game, you’d tell the kids to sit down and behave themselves. So why do we get to get up and do that kind of crap?”
Here’s the play from the Knicks-Wizards game:
The NBA’s “Last Two Minutes Report” said that Lowe should have been given a technical foul for the play.
With Popovich and other shining a light on the issue, the league is sure to be on the lookout for teams using similar tactics.