Sports News

Lakers coach Jackson fined for slamming referees

Los Angeles Lakers coach Phil Jackson directs the team against the Utah Jazz during Game 1 of their NBA Western Conference quarter-final game in Los Angeles, April 19, 2009. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Los Angeles Lakers head coach Phil Jackson was fined $25,000 by the National Basketball Association (NBA) on Tuesday for publicly criticizing game officials.

The Lakers organization was also fined $25,000 for their coach’s comments, NBA Executive Vice President of Basketball Operations Stu Jackson said in a statement.

Jackson was critical of refereeing during the Lakers’ crushing 120-101 defeat by the Denver Nuggets on Monday in Game Four of their Western Conference finals series.

He was especially scathing of the decision to call Lakers reserve forward Luke Walton for a technical foul after he had complained about being elbowed by Denver’s Nene.

“It was an off-ball cut, and the referee gave him a technical then subsequently gave him three consecutive fouls out on the floor,” Jackson told reporters.

“That kind of disparity, we don’t like in ball games. That’s not equal refereeing and those are the things that change the course of games. We don’t like that. We want the game to be fair and evenly played.”

Writing by Mark Lamport-Stokes in Los Angeles; Editing by Ian Ransom