Chicago Bulls forward Taj Gibson received a $25,000 fine for "verbal abuse of a game official," NBA Executive Vice President of Basketball Operations Stu Jackson announced Friday. The fine stems from Gibson's ejection at the 10:13 mark of the fourth quarter of Chicago’s historic 115-78 loss to the Miami Heat in Game 2 of their best-of-seven Eastern Conference semifinals series.
Gibson was frustrated at what he felt was a missed goaltending call against Heat center Chris Andersen on the prior Chicago possession. After a foul on Bulls guard Marquis Teague, Chicago center Joakim Noah began arguing with official Scott Foster from the Bulls' bench, resulting in a technical foul, his second of the game, prompting his automatic ejection. (You might remember what happened next.)
After Noah got the gate, Gibson stepped up his chirping with Foster, who was not in any mood to chat and quickly slapped the USC product with two technicals. Gibson, as you might expect, wasn't so pleased with that. The clip above — provided to us by the NBA and Turner Sports, natch — doesn't really showcase the "abuse" in question. This one, however, does. Many four-letter expletives are involved.
After the game, Gibson said he hoped the disciplinarians in the league office would "see that it was frustration," according to ESPN Chicago's Nick Friedell:
"I have a good accord with [referee] Scott [Foster]. It's one of those games that's chippy; it's playoff basketball, words are going to be said. I don't mean any harm to Scott. He's a good referee sometimes. Just got to keep pushing and move forward." [...]
"I should have ended it a better way, and conducted myself in a better way and just walked away," Gibson said. "It's just frustration."
Pretty expensive frustration, man.
On Friday afternoon, Gibson expressed remorse in less than 140 characters:
— Taj Gibson (@TajGibson22) May 10, 2013
Gibson's fine comes four days after teammate Marco Belinelli received a $15,000 rip for making an "obscene gesture" — which is to say, the Sam Cassell "marbles" dance — during the Bulls' Game 7 win over the Brooklyn Nets. To review: Cursing at refs is $10,000 worse than genital-related dancing. Both are worse, and merit stiffer penalties, than flopping. All of the above are significantly worse than a textbook lariat, which draws no fiscal punishment whatsoever.
OK, cool. Got it. Thanks, NBA!
Game 3 of Heat-Bulls is set to tip at 8 p.m. EDT on Friday at United Center in Chicago.