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NBA fines Raptors coach Darko $25K for officiating rant


The NBA has fined Toronto Raptors head coach Darko Rajakovic $25,000 for his comments following the team’s 132-131 loss to the Los Angeles Lakers on Tuesday night.

The first-year head coach went on a fiery rant, decrying the free-throw discrepancy between the two teams with the Lakers awarded 36 to the Raptors’ 13. In the fourth quarter alone, the Lakers shot 23 free throws with the Raptors going to the line twice.

“That’s outrageous,” a visibly angry Rajakovic said. “What happened tonight, this is completely BS. This is shame. Shame for the referees. Shame for the league to allow this. Twenty-three free throws for them and we get two free throws in the fourth quarter? Like, how to play the game?  I understand respect for All-Stars and all that, but we have star players on our team as well. How is [it] possible that Scottie Barnes, who is an All-Star-caliber player in this league, he goes every single time to the rim with force and trying to get to the rim without flopping and not trying to get foul calls, he gets two free throws for a whole game? How is that possible? How are you going to explain that to me?”

Late in the fourth quarter, the Raptors lost point guard Immanuel Quickley to a sixth foul after being called for a Flagrant 1 by referee Ben Taylor following a review that found Quickley made contact with Lakers forward Cam Reddish “with speed.”

Infamously, Taylor was at the centre of controversy involving the Raptors last season after a March loss to the Los Angeles Clippers. After the 108-100 loss on Mar. 9, then-Raptors point guard Fred VanVleet ripped Taylor in his postgame comments. VanVleet was controversially given a technical foul midway through the third quarter. The game would finish with the Clippers going to the line 31 times compared to the Raptors’ 14.

"I don't mind, I'll take a fine, I don't really care," VanVleet said after the March game. "I thought Ben Taylor was f---ing terrible tonight. I think that on most nights, you know out of the three [officials], there's one or two that just f--- the game up. It's been like that a couple of games in a row…You come out tonight, competing pretty hard, and I get a bulls--- tech that changes the whole dynamic of the game, changed the whole flow of the game. Most of the refs are trying hard. I like a lot of the refs, they're trying hard, they're pretty fair and communicate well. And then you got the other ones who just want to be d---s and just kind of f--- the game up. And no one's coming to see that s---. They come to see the players."

VanVleet was fined $30,000 for his remarks.