Stephen Curry, Steve Kerr Fined for Game 6 Incidents in NBA Finals

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistJune 17, 2016

Golden State Warriors coach Steve Kerr, center, talks with guard Stephen Curry on the bench during the first half against the Cleveland Cavaliers in Game 3 of basketball's NBA Finals in Cleveland, Wednesday, June 8, 2016. Cleveland won 120-90. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)
Tony Dejak/Associated Press

Both Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry and head coach Steve Kerr were fined Friday for their actions around Game 6 of the NBA Finals.

"Curry has been fined $25,000 for throwing his mouthpiece into the spectator stands," the NBA announced. "... Kerr has been fined $25,000 for public criticism of the officiating during his press conference following the same game."

In the closing minutes of Golden State's 115-101 loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers in Game 6, the reigning two-time NBA MVP was called for his sixth foul when reaching in on LeBron James. That didn't sit well with Curry, who threw his mouthpiece into the crowd and was subsequently ejected from the contest.

Curry's mouthguard hit a fan, and after the game he made it clear he didn't intend to throw it at a spectator, according to ESPN.com's Brian Windhorst: "I've thrown my mouthpiece before. I usually aim at the scorer's table. I was off aim. Definitely didn't mean to throw it at a fan. That was obviously not where I was trying to take my frustration out."

The three-time All-Star's outburst led to a rare occurrence that hadn't happened in an NBA Finals game in two decades, per ESPN Stats & Info:

ESPN Stats & Info @ESPNStatsInfo

Stephen Curry is the 1st player ejected from an NBA Finals game since Frank Brickowski 1996 SuperSonics

When asked about his star player's reaction to getting ejected, Kerr had no issue with the manner in which he handled it, according to NBA on ESPN:


Steve Kerr shares Curry's mouthpiece frustration. https://t.co/Za0dm0dIsR

Per Windhorst, Kerr felt Curry was the victim of weak foul calls, particularly the infraction that led to his fouling out and getting tossed from the court:

He had every right to be upset. He's the MVP of the league. He gets six fouls called on him; three of them were absolutely ridiculous. He steals the ball from Kyrie [Irving] clean at one point. LeBron flops on the last one. [Referee] Jason Phillips falls for that for a flop. As the MVP of the league, we're talking about these touch fouls in the NBA Finals.

Let me be clear: We did not lose because of the officiating. They totally outplayed us, and Cleveland deserved to win. But those three of the six fouls were incredibly inappropriate calls for anybody, much less the MVP of the league.

Like Kerr, ESPN's Chris Broussard was surprised by the way the referees officiated Curry during the crucial game in Cleveland:

Chris Broussard @Chris_Broussard

Cavs beat Warriors fair & square, but Steve Kerr is right. Some bad foul calls on Steph. Never seen such a lack of respect for a league MVP

While both Curry and Kerr made their feelings known regarding the officiating ahead of Game 7, their actions and comments were costly.

Curry is making over $11 million this season, however, and Kerr makes $5 million, so the fines are a drop in the bucket.

The primary concern was avoiding a suspension, especially after Draymond Green's absence in Game 5 was a huge contributing factor in the Cavs' victory.

Suspending Curry for Game 7 of the NBA Finals would have caused mass hysteria in Warriors circles, and it would have had a huge impact on the biggest game of the year.

The NBA showed restraint in that regard, and after avoiding that possible outcome, it seems likely Curry and Kerr will accept their fines and refocus on winning their second consecutive NBA championship Sunday.

Follow @MikeChiari on Twitter.


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