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NBA fines Nets, assistant coach after he deflected live ball in win over Wizards

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The NBA fined Brooklyn Nets assistant coach David Vanterpool $10,000 on Thursday for interfering with a live play and deflecting a pass in the Nets’ 119-118 win over the Washington Wizards on Wednesday night.

The NBA also fined the Nets $25,000.

Vanterpool, just after the midway point of the fourth quarter at Capital One Arena, reached out and deflected a Wizards’ pass in the corner — which sent the ball out of bounds.

Somehow, despite the official looking right at the incident, the play wasn't stopped and the Nets got the ball. The referee didn’t notice what had happened, and Vanderpool actually got away with it in the moment.

Crew chief Ben Taylor said that none of the officials recognized what had happened, and that there “wasn’t a mechanism in place” for an incident like that.

“That was also horses*** too,” Wizards star Kyle Kuzma said of the play, via the New York Daily News. “You’ve got [Nets coach] Steve Nash blocking the ref’s view. He can’t see s***. I don’t know what else to say. It’s very unfortunate, but you’ve just got to live with it.”

Vanterpool is in his first season as an assistant with the Nets following stints with the Portland Trail Blazers and Minnesota Timberwolves.

“My reaction was utter disbelief,” Wizards acting coach Joseph Blair said, via NBC Sports. “I’ve never seen, in my very long time in basketball, something happen like that that the referees didn’t see. Nobody’s perfect and mistakes will be made, I get that, but I think in a game like this with the bench conduct being a point of emphasis this year that it’s hard to swallow them missing something like that from me.

“I do understand that regardless there’s tons of things we could’ve done better in the game and it should’ve never came down to us complaining about something like that but I will say that, you know, this is the best league in the world. They have to be better than that.”