The NBA fined Kenny Atkinson $25,000 Saturday following his ejection in Friday’s 114-106 loss to the Pacers.
NBA executive vice president Kiki VanDeWeghe announced the fine on Saturday. A league statement said Atkinson was fined for “verbally abusing game officials and failing to leave the court in a timely manner.”
Atkinson was ejected with 1:09 left in the fourth quarter after Brooklyn, down by five, didn’t get a foul call on one end of the floor, then Rodions Kurucs was called for fouling Darren Collison on a fast break on the other end.
Atkinson left the bench area to confront referee Tony Brothers and was immediately ejected.
Atkinson appeared embarrassed by the ejection post-game.
“We’ve just got to be mentally stronger, and I’ve got to be mentally stronger, fighting through those situations,” Atkinson said of his ejection. “Just frustration on my part. I have to coach myself. I don’t love that scene out there. That’s not what I’m there for. I’m not here to make a show. So I apologize for that. That’s not who I am. But it happens in this league sometimes with the emotion and intensity of the game.”
Also on Saturday, minority owner Joe Tsai took to Twitter to commend Atkinson for his post-game comments.
Great teaching moment from Coach Atkinson: don’t worry about the refs, focus on defense, do the little things to get better for the next game https://t.co/UhCdRrYsz8— Joe Tsai (@joetsai1999) December 22, 2018
Jared Dudley said post-game that he didn’t have a problem with Atkinson’s ejection.
”I think it was justified. You want your coach standing up for your players,” Dudley said. “If he’s out there screaming, you know there’s a reason why. You want your coach to have your back, and he took those two techs. Now you know you have someone in your corner fighting for you.”
Atkinson was last ejected in January of this year in a game vs. the TWolves in Minnesota.