Paul George, Nate McMillan fined by NBA for public criticism of officiating

Nate McMillan was fined for the first time as Pacers head coach. [Frank McGrath/PS&E]

Paul George and coach Nate McMillan were hit with fines following their comments to the media Monday night after losing in Chicago, 90-85.

The NBA fined George $15,000 and McMillan $10,000 on Tuesday for public criticism of officiating.

George, who is earning $18.3 million this season, has been outspoken on officiating almost every season. He feels that he isn’t getting enough calls. The Pacers, too.

“I’ve been fined multiple times,” George told reporters Monday night (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.”

Jeff Teague is held by Taj Gibson on the rebound. [Frank McGrath/PS&E]

George has shot better than 92 percent from the foul line this year, but he’s not getting there enough. His goal is ten attempts per game, and he’s not even getting half that (4.5).

In Monday’s loss, George attempted just one foul shot while fellow All-Star Jimmy Butler had 12 attempts. As a team, the Bulls (20-for-28) outscored the Pacers (8-for-10) by 12 points at the line thanks to 18 more attempts.

That was coach McMillan’s argument.

“We only shot 10 free throws,” McMillan said (via ESPN). “Paul shot one free throw the entire game, played 39 minutes. This is the second game where he’s getting a lot of grabbing, a lot of holding. Butler shoots 12 free throws tonight. They are getting away with a lot of grabbing on Paul. They’ve got to call the game both ways.”

George continued:

“Since I’ve been in this jersey we’ve always fought this battle. Ever since I’ve been playing, ever since I’ve been in this jersey we’ve fought this battle. Maybe the league has teams they like so they can give them the benefit of the doubt. We’re the little brother of the league. We’re definitely the little brother of the league.”

These comments were easy to see coming from George because, well, he spoke out just four days earlier in a home loss to the Celtics.

“They did a great job of holding and playing physical on us. The officiating let them get away with a lot of stuff. It made it tough for us. Coach gave us that game plan that they were going to hold, grab, and play physical.”

Second-year center Myles Turner chimed in after yet another loss — sensing a theme here? — which came on Wednesday in Washington D.C.

“It’s unreal when the opposing player even says ‘damn that’s an awful call’ on more than 1 occasion as they are shooting their free throws,” Turner wrote, then deleting the tweet minutes later.

Then, he wrote the following:

NBA Commissioner Adam Silver was courtside for their game against the Wizards, the second Pacers game he attended in 10 days.

The Pacers (15-18) are absolutely in a funk and the story of their season thus far has been inconsistencies. They aren’t playing to the level they are capable of, and have dropped to 10th in the Eastern Conference standings.

They play four of their next five games at home, beginning with the same Bulls (16-16) team Friday afternoon.

(Note the start time — 4:00 pm rather than the usual 7:00 pm. tip.)

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