OKLAHOMA CITY — David Stern, the NBA commish, stopped by the Ford Center tonight watch the first playoff game in OKC’s story history. Stern was asked about the twin fines to Lakers coach Phil Jackson for criticizing the league’s referees, including saying the Thunder’s Kevin Durant gets superstar treatment from the officials.
Here’s some of what Stern had to say: “I wish I had it to do all over again, and starting 20 years ago I would be suspending Phil and Pat Riley (then coach of the New York Knicks) for all the games they play in the media, because you guys know our referees go out there and knock themselves out doing the best job they can.
“But we have coaches who try to work them publicly and what that does is erode fan confidence and you get some of the situations we’ve had. So our coaches should be quiet because this is a good business that makes them good livings and supports a lot of families. If they don’t like it they should go get a job someplace else.”