Detroit Pistons head coach Stan Van Gundy was fined $25,000 on Monday by the NBA after suggesting officials were reluctant to call fouls on Cleveland star LeBron James.
Van Gundy took aim at officials in a post-match interview following Detroit’s 106-101 playoff defeat to the Cavaliers in Cleveland on Sunday.
“LeBron’s LeBron. They’re not going to call offensive fouls on him,” Van Gundy told ESPN when asked about keeping his players from becoming emotional about officiating. “He gets to do whatever he wants. They’ve got to understand that,” Van Gundy added.
Van Gundy later praised the officiating in the loss while stating he believed James was lucky to escape punishment for two fouls.
“Look, I thought (the officiating) evened out really well,” the Pistons coach said.
“But early on, I thought there were two pretty obvious offensive fouls down there on him. But it’s two calls in an entire game after that.
“Look, the refereeing had nothing to do with tonight. They did a good job. It went both ways. I thought they did a really good job. It was decided by the players on the floor, as it should be.”
The next game in the best-of-seven series is in Cleveland on Wednesday.