NEW YORK (AFP) - Memphis coach David Fizdale, whose "take that" rant on the officiating in the Grizzlies' Monday playoff loss at San Antonio went viral, was fined US$30,000 (S$42,000) by the NBA on Wednesday.
Fizdale excoriated officials after the Grizzlies' 96-82 loss to the Spurs, which left them 0-2 down in the best-of-seven Western Conference first-round series.
Fizdale called the officiating "unprofessional" and "unacceptable". NBA rules prohibit public criticism of game officials.
"It's unfortunate that I've got a guy like (point guard) Mike Conley that in his whole career has got zero technical fouls and just cannot seem to get the proper respect from the officials that he deserves," Fizdale fumed on Monday.
He complained about the discrepancy in fouls called against the Grizzlies and Spurs players.
"First half, we shot 19 shots in the paint, and we had six free throws. They shot 11 times in the paint, and they had 23 free throws," he noted.
"I'm not a numbers guy, but that doesn't seem to add up," said Fizdale, who capped his rant by banging the table and adding "Take that for data!"
If Conley has his way, Fizdale will not be any the poorer for his outburst.
"We told him right away, you're not going to have to pay that," the San Antonio Express-News reported.
At practice on Wednesday, Conley told reporters that he had sent Fizdale a text hours after the game thanking him.
"He didn't have to do anything," Conley said. "Obviously there's a lot of emotions this time of year and he took it head on.
"We're all quiet," he said of the Grizzlies to other perceived slights by the officials. "We don't normally say anything about anything. I think coach finally got fed up."
Fizdale, speaking Wednesday, said he knew he'd be fined but thought he owed it to his players to speak up.
"Players in general and coaches pull this card a lot," Fizdale said. "I'm not sitting here acting like I'm any more original than any other coach.
"But you're fighting for your team and you're fighting for your life in the playoffs, and you just don't have room to let things go into the next year.
"The series can be over, so you're always going to fight for your guys," he said.