K.C. Johnson @KCJHoop
NBA fines Tom Thibodeau $35,000 for postgame comments on officiating following Game 3. #Bulls2013-5-12 18:03:55
Game 3 saw three technical fouls called between the Heat and Bulls. Referees also ejected Nazr Mohammed, who shoved LeBron James to the floor after LeBron received a technical for sending Mohammed to the hardwood.
Confused? You shouldn't be.
An unparalleled level of animosity has brewed between these two teams since the Bulls ended the Heat's 27-game win streak and LeBron implied that Chicago played dirty.
Their mutual acrimony reached new heights in Miami's Game 2 romp over Chicago. Officials called nine technical fouls between the two factions, issued a flagrant to Chris Andersen and ejected both Joakim Noah and Taj Gibson. That paved the way for emotions—specifically for those of Mohammed—to boil over in Game 3.
Afterward, Thibs ripped the officials for how they called the game, going as far as to suggest that the Bulls were being conspired against.
"We're well aware of what's going on," Thibodeau said (via Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports). "I'm watching how things are going. I watch very closely. What I'm seeing is… We'll adjust accordingly."
He wasn't done either.
"We're not going to get calls," Thibs explained. "That's reality."
Thibs' players felt the same way.
"A push shouldn't get an ejection," Mohammed said of his confrontation with LeBron. "It was a cheap shot throwing me down."
Nate Robinson took it one step further, essentially paying homage to the flop-tasticness that was LeBron falling to the floor.
"You see LeBron in a lot of commercials, a lot of good acting," he said.
Thibs didn't beat around the bush, though. He flat-out accused LeBron of flopping, saying, "From my angle, I just saw a guy flop."
Flop or not, Thibodeau is the one getting handed the fine. He and the rest of the Bulls are clearly fed up with how the referees distribute the whistles, and it shows.
On their faces and in their voices, and now in Thibs' bank account balance, it just shows.