Josh Hart fires back at Rick Carlisle's officiating complaints: 'I feel like that’s pretty disrespectful'

A lot has been made about the officiating over the first two games of the second-round matchup between the Knicks and Pacers. 

Indiana head coach Rick Carlisle reached his breaking point following the Game 2 loss on Wednesday night at Madison Square Garden, claiming there’s been an imbalance of calls from the officials. 

The team went on to file a complaint to the league office with over 78 disputed calls over the first two games of the series, according to ESPN's Brian Windhorst.

Among the alleged missed calls Carlisle was frustrated over was his belief that Josh Hart shoved Pacers point guard Tyrese Haliburton in the back in front of an official in the third quarter and no call was made. 

"JB DeRosa is looking right at it, you can see he’s got a vision of the play, and he shoves Tyrese to the corner and there’s no whistle," he said postgame. "Give New York credit for the physicality that they’re playing with, but their physicality is rewarded and ours is penalized time after time."

The league announced on Friday that Carlisle was fined $35,000 for those postgame antics, and Hart finally had a chance to clap back at the veteran head coach before New York’s morning shoot-around.

"I don’t even know what to say," Hart said. "If you look I hit the ball. Might I have bumped him a little bit? Yeah, both of us are running at full speed and he’s in front of me and I’m trying to make a play on the ball. Rick’s saying whatever he feels, that has nothing to do with us. 

"At the end of the day, I think it’s pretty disrespectful to us because we’re out there playing the game and competing at a high level. It’s not about officiating or anything like that. So for him to discredit how we’re playing, I feel like that’s pretty disrespectful."

Hart was also asked about Carlisle's notion that small market teams like the Pacers deserve more of a "fair shot" no matter where their opponent plays.

The nine-year veteran, who has spent time in New Orleans, Portland, Los Angeles, and New York, completely shut down that notion and offered a reasonable explanation.

"F--k no. That’s so stupid, bro," he said. "We’re gonna say that the big market always wins, but the Knicks haven’t won a chip in 51 years. So obviously that doesn’t hold much weight, I think that’s pretty idiotic.

"At the end of the day, it’s who's playing the best. It's not about who complains the most small market, big market, whatever. It's about going out there and playing the game and competing at a high level."

Right now, it’s the Knicks playing best in this series, and they’ll look to keep that going on the road in Game 3 on Friday night.