Feisty Doc Lets Out His Raging Waters

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Getty Images / Michael Reaves

Omar Rashad, Sports Editor

Recently, Los Angeles Clippers’ Head Coach, Doc Rivers, was fined 15,000 dollars for one of the pettiest reasons ever. The action the NBA took was outright insane and a little too much for what little Rivers actually did.

It all started with a faulty foul call that one of the referees whistled at. On the sideline, the anxious Doc Rivers rose out of his seat in objection and questioned one of the referees, Lauren Holtkamp, who agreed with Rivers that there was no foul on the play. Right after, Rivers turned to his bench and began yelling at his players. This is when the real brouhaha comes in, because Ken Mauer, another referee, was “watching from the side”, and instead deduced that Rivers was relentlessly yelling and arguing with Holtkamp. He whistled Rivers for a technical foul, even though both Holtkamp and Rivers were not fighting or arguing.

The Clippers were losing in the fourth quarter by more than ten points and had even blown a 25-point lead earlier in the third quarter. Rivers’ pent up frustration of his teams’ performance coupled with getting whistled for a technical foul (that never even happened) which was only caused by a foul against his team (which also never should have happened) was enough to unleash his anger. Rivers, getting a technical foul, began yelling at Mauer, objecting the grounds for his punishment. When players and coaches get technical fouls, they aren’t allowed to argue back or question officials. In this case, Rivers was yelling at Mauer, who mercilessly just tagged another technical foul on Rivers, ejecting him from the game. Rivers instead of leaving the game, continued to yell at Mauer, crossing into the court to continue his quarrel. West Varsity Basketball player, Vishal Bhat (12), said, “I can see why Doc Rivers was mad, but at the same time I can see how the referees mistook Rivers’ actions.”

Of course, the NBA took no pity, and handed Rivers a 15,000 dollar fine for not leaving immediately after being handed his ejection from the game. The fact that the league fined Rivers so much money, is just plain overboard. Yes, for arguing with an official after receiving a technical foul, an ejection is deserved, but throwing a hefty fine is too much. For almost a petty offense, arguing with an official and even turning out to be right, the NBA should not be putting the blame on Rivers and instead should be directing it to Mauer, for making the wrong call. There should be no further punishment to Rivers or Mauer, but if there’s going to be any shade that should be thrown on anyone regarding this, it should be on Mauer.

Rivers even had to be held back by one of his own players, Deandre Jordan, as he went off on Ken Mauer for the bad call. Jordan later said in an official statement, “Doc’s passionate, man. He cares about us. He cares about the game of basketball. It was just unfortunate. We try to tell ourselves to not get fourth-quarter techs — coaches, too. (LA Times)”

Doc Rivers knew his mistake, but the fact that the NBA didn’t even consider the idea that none of this would have happened if the correct call was made, even if it did result in Rivers going out on a tantrum. But then again, the fact that Rivers was fined a hefty 15,000 dollars just doesn’t sit well with me.

For more on athletes and the decisions they have to make, keep checking out the Athletes Dilemma.