April 21, 2021

Smart fined $15k for criticising officials

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The NBA fined Boston Celtics guard Marcus Smart $15,000 on Saturday for his critical remarks about the officiating in Friday’s 119-112 loss to the Milwaukee Bucks.

Smart suggested to reporters after the game the referees gave Bucks star Giannis Antetokounmpo special treatment when they overturned a charging call that would have fouled him out with 1:28 left and the score tied at 107-107.

“The excuse was I was late on drawing the charge. Quite frankly, I think we all know what that was about,” Smart said. “It was Giannis’ sixth foul. [Referees] didn’t want to get him out. Let’s just call that spade a spade.”

Antetokounmpo, who finished the game with 36 points and 15 rebounds, said he spoke with Smart afterward.

“I think he is a great player,” said Antetounkmpo, the league’s reigning MVP. “One thing I respect about him is that he is the first guy on the floor, he trusts his team-mates, he plays hard, he guards the best player. So, that’s what I told him at the end of the game. I said, ‘I respect you, I respect you play hard and I just play hard.’ There’s nothing more to that.”

Milwaukee Bucks' Giannis Antetokounmpo heads to the basket as Boston Celtics' Daniel Theis defends 1:58
Highlights of the seeding game between the Boston Celtics and the Milwaukee Bucks

The fine was announced by the office of NBA executive vice president of basketball operations Kiki VanDeWeghe.

It was not the first sanction this season for Smart, who was fined $35,000 for “confronting and verbally abusing” game officials after a 129-120 loss to the Brooklyn Nets on March 3.

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