Celtics' Rivers 'perplexed' by fine

Updated: January 14, 2010, 12:28 AM ET
Associated Press

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- Doc Rivers was confused when he was thrown out, and even more so when he was fined.

Especially since the NBA admitted the call he was arguing was incorrect.

Rivers
Rivers

The NBA fined the Boston Celtics coach $25,000 on Wednesday for an argument with officials that led to two quick technicals and an ejection. The league confirmed to ESPNBoston.com that the call, a flagrant foul on Glen "Big Baby" Davis, had been downgraded to a normal foul.

"They admit that the ... call was wrong," Rivers said before the Celtics' game against the New Jersey Nets. "Of all the fines I've ever had, this is by far the most disappointing. I just don't get this one. I watched a couple of coaches last week run out on the floor and no fine. I get fined for being right."

Rivers was irate over the call on Davis with 6:16 left in Monday night's game against the Atlanta Hawks. The Celtics coach drew back-to-back technicals when he didn't stop yelling at referee Bennett Salvatore; a third "T" was called on soft-spoken assistant Armond Hill.

Rivers said the league called to tell him the officials were mistaken in their ruling.

"I didn't want to hear the explanation when they called, honestly. I was not in the mood," Rivers said. "I didn't let them [explain] because there was no explanation.

"They said I stayed out on the floor too long, or whatever, which I didn't do. I didn't swear, kept saying, 'it's an awful call,' so I'm perplexed by the fine. I was perplexed at the time and so I still am."

The volatile sequence left Atlanta with five free throws -- it made four -- and possession of the ball, helping the Hawks trim Boston's 10-point lead to a 67-61 advantage.

Atlanta tied the game before the end of the quarter, then pulled ahead in the fourth, making Rivers' tantrum sting that much more.

"I told the guys after the game, No. 1, that's always on me," Rivers said Monday. "I don't think I should ever get thrown out. I don't know when the last time I was thrown out was, actually. I don't care how bad you think the calls are at the moment, you know, somehow you have to try to rein yourself back in.

"Honestly, I reacted -- I was so shocked at what they were calling. I thought they were talking about whether it was a breakaway or not. The last thing I had in my mind was a flagrant. I didn't even think that was part of the discussion. So I was so surprised by that I reacted, and I never should have."

Rivers had last been ejected against Chicago in March. He was also fined $25,000, and referee Bill Kennedy was fined an undisclosed amount.

Chris Forsberg of ESPNBoston.com contributed.


Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press

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