Jackson fined $35K for comments

Updated: April 6, 2010, 7:45 PM ET
ESPN.com

The NBA fined Los Angeles Lakers coach Phil Jackson $35,000 on Monday for publicly criticizing game officials following his team's loss to the San Antonio Spurs on Sunday.

Jackson was asked Tuesday what he thought of the league's decision to fine him.

"I highly endorse it, I think it's a wonderful thing to do," Jackson deadpanned before adding, "There's nothing to appeal."

With 59.0 seconds remaining in the second quarter Sunday, Los Angeles forward Ron Artest and San Antonio guard Manu Ginobili were called for a double-technical foul after getting tangled up while the ball was waiting to be inbounded.

On the Spurs' ensuing possession, just a second of game clock later, Artest was called for a personal foul and Kobe Bryant was then whistled for a technical foul for approaching the official during the dead ball.

All of the calls were made by 25-year NBA veteran referee Bennett Salvatore.

"Tonight they wouldn't let Ron play the way he played prior to [the technical foul call]," Jackson said Sunday. "[Ginobili] could hook Ron; [Artest] didn't get what was going on and ended up getting too many fouls on him."

Artest finished the game with two personal fouls, plus the technical. San Antonio was leading 40-37 at the time of the double-technical call and finished the half on an 8-0 run in the final minute.

"The way we ended up the half I think turned the referees against us and when you do that, that's an unfortunate thing," Jackson added. "Ron didn't back off and didn't read that official well enough to know, you got to back off, you got to lighten the load, he's not going to take any more of that. Ginobili forced the issue and got the calls."

Bryant's technical was his 13th of the season. If he is whistled for three more technicals, for a total of 16, in the Lakers' final five games, he will be suspended by the league for one game. The slate is wiped clean for the postseason, when amassing seven technical fouls results in a one-game ban.

"You never know with a referee," Jackson said. "You go over and talk to him, he may not have wanted anybody to talk to him at that point. It didn't look like Kobe berated him at all, but you guys probably had a better television view than I had at that end of the court."

Jackson added: "It didn't look like he was berating him or anything, but, with Bennett you don't know what you're going to get."

Information from ESPNLosAngeles.com's Dave McMenamin contributed to this report.

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