Doc Rivers may have faults as an NBA head coach, but don’t ever accuse him of not having passion.
On Tuesday night, the Clippers were in Brooklyn trying to snap a tw0-game slide. The Nets were making it difficult though, as they pushed the game to overtime. With tensions running high in the close game, referee Lauren Holtkamp called a foul on the Clippers while they were trying to trap the ball carrier. Rivers stalked down the sidelines to argue the call and head official Ken Mauer called a technical foul on him.
That’s when things got really out of hand.
Rivers exploded, had to be restrained by other members of his coaching staff, and earned a second tech and an ejection.
The call was huge, since the Clippers were down two at the time, with just 18 seconds left in the game. Although Nets guard Isaiah Whitehead missed both free throws and the Clippers did rally to force double-overtime, they eventually fell 127-122.
After the game, Rivers was still upset about the call, saying that Mauer stuck in nose into a conversation that didn’t involve him.
“I thought it was an awful tech. Honestly, I think you guys know why the tech was called. The official who had nothing to do with the play thought I was yelling at Lauren and I wasn’t. Actually, she said, ‘Doc, you’re right,’ or whatever, ‘Let’s walk back.’ We were walking. We weren’t even arguing. It was the damnedest tech to give at that time.
“What the league is going to do is fall back on is, I crossed half court. You’ll see tomorrow that’s what they’re going to say and we’re all going to know that’s not the reason.”
Mauer, while speaking to a pool reporter about the call, confirmed that the first tech was indeed for crossing over the half line, and the second was for his outburst afterwards.