Grizzlies' Ja Morant, Taylor Jenkins Blast Refs; Dillon Brooks Want to Pay HC's Fine

Tyler Conway@@jtylerconwayFeatured Columnist IVApril 24, 2022

Memphis Grizzlies head coach Taylor Jenkins shouts from the sidelines during their game against the Minnesota Timberwolves in second half in Game 4 of an NBA basketball first-round playoff series Saturday, April 23, 2022, in Minneapolis. The Timberwolves won 119-118. (AP Photo/Craig Lassig)
AP Photo/Craig Lassig

Memphis Grizzlies coach Taylor Jenkins and guard Ja Morant ripped NBA officials after their team's Game 4 loss to the Minnesota Timberwolves.

"S--t terrible. I don't even foul like that," Morant told reporters after the 119-118 defeat.

"In my opinion, one of the most poorly officiated games I've ever seen in my NBA career. ... I've never seen a more inconsistent, arrogant officiated game," Jenkins said.

The Grizzlies were called for 33 fouls compared to 23 for the Timberwolves. All five of Memphis' starters had at least four fouls, and Minnesota shot 40 free throws.

"It's embarrassing. ... I'm at a loss for words. I'm not going to go as far as saying that's the reason we lost, but I'm going to let it be known that's messed up," Jenkins said.

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"In my opinion one of the most poorly officiated games I've ever seen in my NBA career." <br><br>Coach Jenkins after the Game 4 loss. <a href="https://t.co/eZynhRXmHD">pic.twitter.com/eZynhRXmHD</a>

While Jenkins wouldn't go as far as to outright blame officials for their quick whistle, referees were clearly more involved in the action than they are in a typical game. The result was an at-times choppy game that never got into a good flow despite the Grizzlies and Wolves being two of the NBA's highest-tempo teams.

"I don't even wanna talk about the officiating," Grizzlies forward Dillon Brooks told reporters. "When I was growing up, when I was in the league the first three years and I watched playoff basketball, there were barely any calls called. They let the players play and figure it out. I felt like they just wanna run the show. They want their name on TV, and their names are all over that TV, all three of them. It should be called out."

Fines will almost certainly be coming down the pike for Jenkins and potentially Brooks, given the NBA's general frowning on public criticism of officials. Jenkins said he was prepared for whatever "hit" the NBA gave him, while Brooks offered to pick up the tab for his coach's fine.

Morant also said he was willing to take any fine levied on him by the NBA.

"I'm right behind Coach. I'll take mine too," Morant said.