Los Angeles Lakers head coach Luke Walton has been slapped with a $15,000 fine from the NBA following his criticism of how the Lakers were officiated Monday night against the San Antonio Spurs, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic.
After the Lakers lost 143-142 in overtime on Monday, Walton used a good chunk of his postgame presser to express his frustrations with the officials, who he said didn’t give the Lakers calls because they’re a young team. Here are Walton’s comments in full:
“Dave asked me about this pregame and I wasn’t going to say anything. I was going to save my money, but I just can’t anymore,” Walton said. “It’s 70-something points in the paint to 50-something, again they outshoot us from the free-throw line. 38 free-throws. Watch the play, 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 shot 30 free throws on us for the night before. Then LeBron pulls up on a screen and someone tried to fight over, the same thing they shot free throws on us for. We are scoring 70 points a night in the paint.”
This is the second time in Walton’s tenure as the Lakers’ head coach that he has been fined for criticizing the officials. Walton was fined in December of 2016 for “verbally abusing a game official and not leaving the court in a timely manner after his ejection” when the Lakers visited the Sacramento Kings.
Walton is known for being a cool guy off of the court, but he’s shown on several occasions that he can get angry on the sidelines pretty quickly if he feels the game isn’t being called fairly. Monday night was just another example, and unfortunately his wallet suffered for it. At least he got his money’s worth, and it will be interesting to watch if the officials give the Lakers a few more whistles moving forward.
You can follow this author on Twitter at @RadRivas.