It was to be expected that Kevin Garnett would face some backlash for his comments after the Celtics' loss to the Thunder on Wednesday night, in which the veteran memorably compared Kevin Durant to "Michael [expletive] Jordan" with regard to his superstar treatment from NBA officials.
That backlash came Friday, as the league office in New York City handed down a $25,000 fine for criticizing officials and using inappropriate language.
While Garnett himself wasn't available Friday to comment on the penalty, his coach had plenty to say. And he wasn't making any apologies.
"I blame you guys," Doc Rivers joked to the media before the Celtics' game against the Rockets on Friday night. "I blame you guys for everything. It's easier that way."
Rivers' explanation was a simple one — often, athletes are trapped into making controversial comments after games. Reporters ask questions about officiating and about foul discrepancies, and sometimes simply answering the question is enough to get you into trouble. It happens to players all the time, and it's happened to Rivers, too.
"The next time that happens, I have a solution," Rivers said. "I think each one of you guys should pitch in a thousand dollars until we get to 25, 35, whatever the number."
It's a flawed system, you could say. But it's one that NBA players and coaches alike are forced to abide by.
"I think we should be allowed to say what we want," Rivers said. "I think everyone would be happier. You guys would be thrilled. But we can't. That's the league we're in, and I'm fine with it for the most part."
As for the specifics of why his players get fined, the coach didn't want to say much — for obvious reasons.
"I'm not going to give an opinion," Rivers said. "I want to keep my money."
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