NBA fines Paul George $35K for criticizing refs after Clippers' 6th straight loss

The NBA has fined Paul George $35,000 for publicly criticizing its officials after the Los Angeles Clippers’ loss Tuesday.

The league said it considered George’s “history of public criticism of the officiating” while determining the size of his fine. That history is indeed very well-established, with George racking up $145,000 in such fines over the last six years.

In this most recent case, George was discussing the Clippers’ 111-108 loss to the Denver Nuggets, the team’s sixth straight loss and their fifth since trading for James Harden. After the game, George alluded to having played against the officials in addition to the Nuggets, via ESPN:

“I thought we played great,” George said. “It’s tough, the adversity of playing against the extra three [officials]. I thought they were awful. But, [against the] defending champs, we got to play better. There’s a lot to be positive about. I’m not one for moral victories, but I thought we showed more of a sign of a team tonight that’s close to getting it over the hump.”

Los Angeles Clippers forward Paul George (13) drives to the basket against Denver Nuggets guard Kentavious Caldwell-Pope during the second half of an NBA basketball in-season tournament game Tuesday, Nov. 14, 2023, in Denver. (AP Photo/Jack Dempsey)

Paul George had some words for the refs after a Clippers loss. As always, the NBA didn’t appreciate that. (AP Photo/Jack Dempsey) (ASSOCIATED PRESS)

George also said the crew of Josh Tiven, Natalie Sago and Matt Boland should have given him more than five free throws based on how he was being defended:

“It was bad,” George said when asked about how the game finished. “Five free throws is very disrespectful on this night. So many times I got hit on layups, 3-pointers, it was constant.

“Jump shots, getting hit, smacked on the forearm. I mean, it was poor, a poor job. But, again, we got to be able to beat these guys on their floor and not rely on that. Again, they [are] calling something on one end, they got to call it on the other.”

The NBA actually agreed with George on that front, as the game’s Last Two Minute Report acknowledged the refs missed a shooting foul against Kentavious Caldwell-Pope on a George drive in the final minute. However, the league also noted the refs missed a travel on George’s part on another drive 30 seconds later.

The Clippers will get their next chance to turn things around Friday against the Houston Rockets.

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