The NBA has fined Brooklyn assistant coach David Vanterpool $10,000 for deflecting a Washington Wizards pass in the fourth quarter of the Nets’ 119-118 victory on Wednesday.
The Nets were also fined $25,000 by the league for the bizarre infraction, which was not caught by officials during the close finish to the game.
The Nets were leading 109-103 with 5:42 remaining in the game when Washington’s Spencer Dinwiddie attempted a pass to teammate Kyle Kuzma, who was in front of the Nets bench.
Vanterpool appeared to reach his arm out and tip the pass, which caused Kuzma to bobble the ball and resulted in a turnover by Washington.
Washington coach Joseph Blair, standing in for Wes Unseld Jr who was in Covid protocols, said the referee closest to the play told him that he didn’t see any interference.
The Wizards had used their lone coach’s challenge and so could only play on.
Officiating crew chief Ben Taylor said that there was no “mechanism” for reviewing the play otherwise.
After the game, Blair said that he was in “utter disbelief” over the play and missed call.
“There’s no ‘may have,'” Blair said after the game. “He did (tip the ball).
“My reaction is utter disbelief. I’ve never seen in my very long time in basketball something happen like that that the referees didn’t see.
“No one is perfect and mistakes will be made, I get that. But I think in a game like that, with bench conduct being a point of emphasis this year, that it’s very hard to swallo them missing something like that.”