Terrence Ross, Michael-Carter Williams Fined $15K for Verbally Abusing Officials

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistMarch 5, 2021

Orlando Magic guard Terrence Ross (31) is kept away from official Ray Acosta, right, after the team's loss to the Atlanta Hawks in an NBA basketball game Wednesday, March 3, 2021, in Orlando, Fla. (AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack)
Phelan M. Ebenhack/Associated Press

The NBA announced Thursday it fined Orlando Magic guards Terrence Ross and Michael Carter-Williams $15,000 apiece. 

The players were punished for verbal abuse toward game officials and "failing to leave the court in a timely manner" immediately after Wednesday's 115-112 loss to the Atlanta Hawks.

The Magic trailed by a point in the final seconds when Ross attempted a floater from just inside the free-throw line that was just wide to the right. John Collins grabbed the rebound for Atlanta and was fouled by Carter-Williams to seal the victory for Atlanta.

After the final buzzer sounded, Ross approached the officiating crew to discuss his shot attempt as he thought he had been fouled. The NBA said in its Last Two Minute report that Hawks guard Kevin Huerter got the ball as he defended Ross and that any contact with Ross was "incidental."

Orlando felt even more slighted because Carter-Williams had been whistled for a foul on Trae Young moments earlier, which allowed Atlanta to jump ahead. The league said Carter-Williams got Young on the chin and was appropriately assessed a personal foul.

The frustration inside the Magic locker room was evident in the postgame comments from Carter-Williams and head coach Steve Clifford:

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"I'll tell you with 100% certainty there was no contact to the head, so I didn't think it was a foul," Steve Clifford. Coach said that he went back and watched the play with MCW and Trae Young and thought there was not enough contact to call a foul. #MagicTogether https://t.co/aQx2UgcaML

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"Tough call, of course I disagree with it," @mcarterwilliams. MCW thought the call should have been different and said they weren't in their rotations defensively and gave up too many three's in the 4th quarter. #MagicTogether https://t.co/TRrLy7Wzfk

That Orlando dropped its fifth game in a row might have had something to do with the reaction.

Back on Feb. 21, the Magic were only 0.5 games back of the 10th-place Hawks, which will be good enough to qualify for the play-in tournament. Now, the team owns the Eastern Conference's second-worst record (13-23).