After Ejection, Doc Rivers Says NBA Referees Can Lose Their Composure

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistJanuary 23, 2018

Los Angeles Clippers head coach Doc Rivers, right, complains about a foul call to referee James Williams during the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Minnesota Timberwolves, Monday, Jan. 22, 2018, in Los Angeles. Doc Rivers was ejected from the game during the second half. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)
Mark J. Terrill/Associated Press

Los Angeles Clippers head coach Doc Rivers said NBA referees can "lose their composure" after L.A. was assessed four technical fouls Monday night during the fourth quarter of a 126-118 loss to the Minnesota Timberwolves at Staples Center.

Nick Friedell of ESPN.com passed along postgame comments from Rivers, who was ejected from the game in the final period.

"Listen, we don't want to get fourth-quarter techs," he said. "My tech, by that time, the game was over. I literally got thrown out of the game for saying, 'You guys gave us some tough calls tonight.' That was it. No swear words. Nothing. And the point I make all the time, if I earn a tech, I'm fine with it, but just like players can lose their composure, officials can lose their composure, as well."

Clippers assistant coach Mike Woodson was also ejected, while fellow assistant Sam Cassell and forward Blake Griffin picked up technicals. Rivers asserted most of those officiating decisions came after normal complaints about calls.

"Sam got a tech for saying, 'Three seconds,'" Rivers said. "Blake got a tech for saying, 'Over my back.' One ref told me I couldn't talk. I thought I was the head coach. As long as I'm respectful, I can say whatever I want. That's not why we lost the game."

He added that giving up 18 offensive rebounds to the Wolves "destroyed us," but noted it's "rare" for a road team to shoot 17 more free throws.

Rivers has been fined multiple times for public criticism of officiating, including $25,000 fines during the 2014 and 2015 playoffs.

The 23-23 Clippers (ninth in the Western Conference) return to action Wednesday night for a home clash with the Boston Celtics.

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