Boston Celtics guard Marcus Smart was issued the first fine of the restart of the NBA season on Saturday after criticizing referees in a loss Friday to Milwaukee.
The NBA fined Smart $15,000 for his comments to reporters after the Celtics fell to the Bucks 119-112 in their opening games inside the league’s quarantine bubble campus at Disney World in Orlando, Florida.
Smart was upset after a charging call against reigning NBA Most Valuable Player Giannis Antetokounmpo of the Bucks, what would have been the Greek star’s sixth foul to force him out of the game, was overturned into a blocking foul against him.
“The ‘excuse’ was I was late on drawing the charge,” Smart said of what referees told him about the change, claiming he was not set with his feet in place when struck by the onrushing Bucks star.
“I think we all know what that was about. It was Giannis’s sixth foul. (Referees) didn’t want to get him out. Let’s just call that spade a spade.”
The controversial call came with 88 seconds remaining in the fourth quarter and the game tied at 107-107.
The Bucks own the best record in the NBA at 54-12 and lead the Eastern Conference by seven games over Toronto with Boston third on 43-22.