Usually head coaches of professional sports teams bite their tongues when it comes to officiating. Coaches who cross the line and are critical of referees pay hefty fines. David Fizdale of the NBA's Memphis Grizzlies can expect to be much lighter in the wallet in the coming days.
Following Monday's 96-82 loss to San Antonio--when the Spurs shot 32 free throws while Memphis shot 15, Fizdale didn't hold back.
"It was a very poorly officiated basketball game," Fizdale said. "First half we shot 19 shots inside the paint and we had six free throws, they shot 11 times in the paint and they had 23 free throws. I'm not a numbers guy but that doesn't seem to add up."
As the rant went on, Fizdale got more and more worked up.
"Overall, 35 times we shot the ball in the paint and we had 15 free throws for the game. They shot 18 times in the paint and had 32 free throws. (San Antonio forward) Kawhi (Leonard) shot more free throws (19) than our whole team. Explain it to me. We don't get the respect that these guys deserve because (Memphis guard and former Buckeye) Mike Conley doesn't go crazy, he has class and he just plays the game but I'm not going to let them treat us that way. I know (San Antonio coach Greg Popovich) has pedigree and I'm a young rookie but they're not going to rook us. That's unacceptable...that's unprofessional. My guys dug in that game and earned the right to be in that game and (the officials) did not even give us a chance."
Conley, asked after the game if he feels he does not get the respect he deserves from the officials was more tactful--but made it clear how he felt.
"As far as getting to the free throw line...no (I don't get the respect)," Conley said. "They respect me as a person I feel like but when it comes to the game...I'm not sure."
Check out the videos below... First is Fizdale (rant starts at about the 1:30 mark) , then Conley--who was more diplomatic than Fizdale, but made it clear he wasn't wild about the calls either. I know Fizdale's in for a huge fine, but I love the passion.