The league has admitted that the flagrant foul on Big Baby was the incorrect call and down-graded the foul to a normal (i.e. non-flagrant) foul, according to ESPNBoston.
Let’s forget the fact that the flagrant on Davis—a questionable call that led to three technicals on the C’s coaching staff and five foul shots for Atlanta—helped turn the tide in Monday’s game. These things happen, and as I wrote after the game, you risk a flagrant anytime you make contact with an opposing player’s head on a fast break.
But you would think that the league—having conceded the call was wrong—would at least not take additional action against Doc Rivers for arguing that call. But it did. The league has fined Doc $25,000 for arguing the call. And Doc appears confused by the fine. And I’m confused, too.
My first reaction was that Doc had to have said something unforgivable—a dirty word, a comment about Bennett Salvatore’s mother, something.
But Doc denies that anything like that happened. Per ESPNBoston.com:
“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.”
“I get fined for being right.” Awesome. And this:
“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.”
Weird, weird ruling from the league.