The NBA slapped Chicago coach Tom Thibodeau with a $35,000 fine for criticizing the officials after the Bulls' 104-94 loss to the Miami Heat on Friday night in the second-round playoff series, league executive vice president of basketball operations Stu Jackson announced Sunday.
Thibodeau questioned some of the referees' calls against the Bulls in Game 3 in Chicago, referring in particular to Chicago's Jimmy Butler guarding Heat star LeBron James and whistles against Nazr Mohammad and Joakim Noah, who received a technical in the first quarter for shoving Miami's Chris Andersen.
"When you play this team, you have to have a lot of mental, physical and emotional toughness," Thibodeau said after the game. "Things aren't going to go your way. That's the way it is. We're not going to get calls. That's the reality. We've still got to find a way to get it done and we can."
Thibodeau also questioned the ejection of Mohammad, the Bulls' backup center, after he shoved James with 9:29 left in the second quarter.
"From my angle, I saw a guy basically flop, and ... I'm going to leave it at that," Thibodeau said.
Bulls point guard Nate Robinson essentially agreed with Thibodeau, calling James a good actor.
"I didn't think it warranted an ejection," Thibodeau said. "I understand flagrant foul. I understand that. But ejection? No. No. No."
In Game 2 of the series in Miami, Noah and teammate Taj Gibson were ejected and the Bulls were hit with six technical fouls in a loss.
The injury-plagued Bulls trail 2-1 in the best-of-seven series heading into Game 4 on Monday night in Chicago.