NBA fines Pelicans’ Griffin $50K for public criticism of officiating

David Griffin speaks at a news conference. (Joshua Gunter/AP)

The NBA has handed New Orleans Pelicans executive vice president of basketball operations David Griffin a $50,000 fine for publicly criticizing league officiating.

Griffin made the comments on May 7 in a 13-minute barrage aimed at league officiating, and his words were deemed “detrimental to the NBA.”

The criticisms directly revolved around the injury to the Pelicans’ young phenom Zion Williamson, who is out indefinitely with a broken finger.

“I’m really frustrated because this is avoidable,” said Griffin of Williamson’s injury. “We told the NBA through every means available to us, through sending in film, through speaking to everybody in the officials department and everybody in basketball operations, that the way they were officiating Zion was going to get him injured.”

“There is more violence encouraged in the paint than any player I’ve seen since [Shaquille O’Neal],” added Griffin. “It was egregious and horrific then, and the same is true now.”

With the Pelicans on the outside looking in of the NBA’s playoff picture, Williamson’s season is likely over. The former first-overall pick had an outstanding second NBA campaign, averaging 27 points and 7.2 rebounds per game on 61.1-per-cent shooting over 61 contests.

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