NBA Coach Fined $50kJake Cooper | 23 Mar 2021
Toronto Raptors head coach Nick Nurse has been fined a sweltering $50k for losing his cool during Toronto’s 115-112 loss to the Utah Jazz on Friday evening. Nurse was slapped with the mammoth penalty for tossing his face mask behind the scorer’s table and in the general direction of the stands where spectators would generally have been sitting.
But the mask-throwing incident wasn’t the only reason for the fine. The usually level-headed coach also directed words of profanity toward several game officiators before storming off the court in an angry huff.
The incident and fine were confirmed by NBA executive VP of basketball operations Kiki VanDeWeghe in a press release late on Sunday.
Irritation The Probable Cause
The incident had reportedly taken place directly after Pascal Siakam flopped on a three-point attempt at the buzzer – an attempt that could have tied the game.
Nurse, who had been watching the final action from a squatting position near the sideline, had apparently grown so irate at the ball rattling around the rim before falling out, that he had proceeded to rip his face mask from his face before flinging it towards the scoreboards.
Although a small group of people had been stationed nearby, fans were luckily not present in the general area for spectators due to courtside seats having been cornered off for health and safety reasons.
Nurse Explains His Reaction
Nurse has since apologised for his actions, saying he hoped the money he’ll now be paying by way of the fine will be put to a promoting a good cause. He also explained that he had lost his cool because of the struggles experienced while trying to do his job and wearing a mask at the same time. He was however quick to add that he respected the health and safety protocols and understood why these were necessary.
What would have added to Nurse’s irritation was that the expectation had clearly been for the Raptors to win the game against Utah. Nurse said after the game that it seemed as if the Jazz were going to let the Raptors win.
The 27-shot difference in free throwing attempts as witnessed on the night of the action is officially the second largest seen in the NBA this season, topped only by the difference of 28 between the Golden State and Houston on Wednesday.