Miami Heat's Erik Spoelstra fined $25,000 for criticizing officials
MIAMI -- Miami Heat coach Erik Spoelstra can kiss his bonus for advancing to the next round of the playoffs goodbye. The NBA fined Spoelstra $25,000 on Friday for making public comments about officiating.
Before the Heat's Game 6 victory to close out the Indiana Pacers on Thursday, Spoelstra said league officials had been ignoring a series of hits to the head against LeBron James and Dwyane Wade in the series.
Spoelstra had a prepared statement ready as an answer to the league for the suspension of Heat forward Udonis Haslem for Thursday's game after a flagrant foul in Game 5. Pacers forward Tyler Hansbrough was not suspended for a flagrant foul on Wade.
"The league does not have a problem with hard fouls on our two main guys," Spoelstra said. "In nine games now, there's been over a dozen hard fouls to the face, some of the Tomahawk variety, some have drawn blood. They don't have a problem with it so we don't have a problem with it. We'll focus on what we can control."
Mentioning the hint of such a conspiracy guaranteed a fine and the league acted swiftly. Before the series began, Pacers coach Frank Vogel was fined $15,000 for making comments about officiating when he said: "(The Heat) are the biggest flopping team in the NBA. It'll be very interesting to see how the referees officiate the series and how much flopping they reward."
The Heat will host Game 1 of the Eastern Conference finals on Monday night against the winner of the Philadelphia 76ers-Boston Celtics series.