NBA fines Jason Kidd $25,000

ByMike Mazzeo ESPN logo
Friday, May 2, 2014

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- Brooklyn Nets coach Jason Kidd was fined $25,000 by the NBA on Friday for his public criticism of the officiating in his team's first-round series with the Toronto Raptors, the league announced.

"It's a beautiful day outside, isn't it?" Kidd said jokingly, when asked for his reaction.

He later said: "I never make headlines. It wasn't me. ... It was an opinion. We all have them. Right or wrong. So we move on."

During a conference call with reporters Thursday, a day after his team's 115-113 loss in Game 5, Kidd, unprompted, made it known that he believed guard Joe Johnson wasn't getting enough calls. Johnson took 23 shots on Wednesday night but got to the free throw line just once, something Kidd called "mind-boggling." 

"If flopping is the way to go, then we have to maybe play that game," Kidd said Thursday. "But Joe is a strong individual and, unfortunately, he doesn't flop. He plays and he doesn't complain. But that's why we have officials -- for them to make calls."

When discussing Brooklyn's final possession of Game 5, Kidd said he thought guard Shaun Livingston was fouled "right in front of [referee] Tom Washington and no call was made."

Livingston appeared to be fouled by DeMar DeRozan as he went for a rebound following center Andray Blatche's missed free throw. Blatche ended up throwing an errant pass to point guard Deron Williams on the play, which led to a backcourt violation.

Johnson, prior to Game 6 on Friday night at Barclays Center, agreed with Kidd that he does not get enough calls.

However, he hasn't complained about it all season. And he won't complain Friday night, despite the fact his team faces elimination. The Raptors lead the best-of-seven series 3-2.

"I never get calls, man," Johnson said before Friday's morning shootaround. "It doesn't bother me, though. I just try to play through it. At the end of the day, playing to the refs is not gonna make it any easier."

Johnson, averaging a team-high 22 points on 56.8 percent shooting in the series, has gotten to the line 20 times but just 12 times after Game 1. DeRozan and fellow Raptors guard Kyle Lowry got to the free throw line a combined 23 times in Game 5. 

Johnson was asked about trying to sell contact in order to get calls.

"I'm not that good at it," he said. "I'm not a flopper. I can't sell it, I guess.

"I just try to be aggressive and just try to take whatever the defense presents to us as a team. We can't worry about the calls. We can't worry about getting calls. We can't complain to the referees. We've just got to play through it."

In November, Kidd was fined $50,000 by the league for his involvement in "sodagate." He was also suspended for the first two games of the season after pleading guilty in July to driving while ability impaired.

On Friday, Kidd was clean-shaven for the first time since 2013. His beard became a fun superstition during the Nets' turnaround, going from 10-21 before New Year's Day to 34-17 since.

"The barber decided to shave it," Kidd said.

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