AUBURN HILLS, Mich. — In this case, the NBA was hardly crying over spilled milk. Instead, they called foul over spilled soda.
Nets coach Jason Kidd drew a $50,000 fine for intentionally spilling a drink on the floor in the waning seconds of the Lakers’ 99-94 win Wednesday over the Nets in an attempt to stop the game without any timeouts remaining.
“I knew he was going to get caught,” Lakers coach Mike D’Antoni said. “He can’t do that. That’s crazy. It’s cute for a lot of people. But he can’t do that.”
Kidd appeared to tell Tyshaun Taylor “to hit me.” Taylor obliged and knocked into Kidd’s shoulder, causing the Nets coach to drop his soda on the floor. The move appeared to try to ice Jodie Meeks at the free throw line and give the Nets a chance to draw up a final play with 8.6 seconds remaining. Neither scenario worked.
Meeks hit both free throws. Then, while Nets assistant John Welch drew up a final play for Paul Pierce, Steve Blake and Xavier Henry listened in on the huddle.
“It was good Steve and I didn’t get in trouble,” Henry said. “We knew their last play.”
It turns out that didn’t matter. Pierce had a wide-open three-pointer, but the shot misfired.
So did Kidd’s explanation afterwards.
“The cup slipped out of my hand,” Kidd said. “I was getting tired, sweaty palms. I was never good with the ball. So, in the heat of the battle, you’re trying to get guys in and out of the game, and the Coke fell out of my hands.”
D’Antoni rolled his eyes at the explanation.
“Don’t buy it,” he said. “I don’t think that’s very savvy or cool. I love Jason to death. He’s going to be a great coach. But you don’t do that.”
Henry took a different tack, calling Kidd’s ploy “definitely creative.” But what if Paul made the potential game-tying basket?
“That would’ve been crazy,” Henry said. “He shouldn’t be able to do that.”
Follow L.A. Daily News Lakers beat writer Mark Medina on Twitter. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org