The Pacers dropped a close one to the Bulls on Monday, and after Paul George played 39 minutes and went to the free throw line just once, he ripped the officials, while essentially claiming that the NBA is fixed.
“I’ve been fined multiple times,” George told reporters, via ESPN. “I’ve been vocal to the point where the league issues [a statement], ‘Hey, we missed a call. Hey, we missed that.’ Officials do it during games [saying], ‘I missed that call, I missed this call. We’re sorry. We’re sorry.’ It’s getting repetitive. They see it, they know what’s going on. They know what’s a foul. They know what’s not a foul. It comes down from somewhere else how these games are going, I believe.”
That last part will almost certainly get George fined, and it appears as though his head coach, Nate McMillan, will also be receiving a notice from the league office.
“We only shot 10 free throws,” McMillan told reporters. “Paul shot one free throw the entire game [and] played 39 minutes. This is the second game where he’s getting a lot of grabbing, a lot of holding. [Bulls swingman] [Jimmy] Butler shoots 12 free throws tonight. [Opponents] are getting away with a lot of grabbing on Paul. [The referees] got to call the game both ways.”
The Pacers took 30 of their 81 shot attempts in the paint within 10 feet of the basket, so it’s not like they were merely jacking up jumpers from the outside. They were just 14-of-30 from there, though, which is 9.8 percent below the league average.
If George and his coach truly believe they’re being wronged by the referees on a nightly basis, then perhaps the money in fines they’re in line to spend will be well worth it if it brings about some change. The Pacers fell to 15-17 on the season, but are just a half-game out of the playoff picture in the East.