Once Mark Jackson made his “hit men” comments heard ’round the world after Game 5 in Denver on Tuesday, immediate speculation was that the coach was attempting to sway the refs to the Warriors’ favor for Game 6.
Flash forward two days later: The NBA agrees that was Jackson’s motive and has fined him for it. Here’s the NBA’s press release:
Golden State Warriors head coach Mark Jackson has been fined $25,000 for making public comments in an attempt to influence the officiating, it was announced today by Stu Jackson, NBA Executive Vice President Basketball Operations.
Jackson made his comments postgame following the Warriors’ 107-100 loss to the Denver Nuggets on April 30 at Pepsi Center.
But did Jackson already make his mark? That is, did he already leave an imprint on Thursday night’s officials to get an advantage the game? Chances are the league has already reminded them their job is to call a fair game. They’ll pay special attention to any cheap shots going both ways. They’ll also keep an extra eye on Stephen Curry when he’s on the court. But the Warriors won’t be getting any beneficial treatment, or at least none more than they’ll ostensibly get as the home team in Game 6.
Regardless, we don’t envy Michael Smith, Marc Davis and Danny Crawford. They’re the refs tasked with chaperoning Thursday night’s circus.