Coach Darko Rajakovic lost his cool about the officiating on Tuesday night after his Toronto Raptors were edged by the Lakers in Los Angeles by a single point 132-131.
The coach’s fist-slamming, angry response has since gone viral as Rajakovic at one point asked, “They had to win tonight? If that’s the case, just let us know, so we don’t show up for the game.”
The Lakers shot 36 free throws in the game with 23 of those coming in the fourth quarter.
In fact, Lakers centre Anthony Davis shot 14 free throws on the evening, one more than the entire Raptors squad.
“It’s outrageous. What happened tonight, this is completely B.S.,” Rajakovic said at the start of the rant which is expected to cost him some big money as the NBA will likely hand him a hefty fine for his efforts.
“This is shame. Shame for the referees. Shame for the league to allow this. Twenty-three free throws for them, and we get two free throws in the fourth quarter? Like, how to play the game? I understand respect for all-stars and all that, but we have star players on our team as well.”
Historically, NBA referees are known for officiating players who are stars differently than rookies or other lesser-known players.
Get the latest National news.
Sent to your email, every day.
“How (is it) possible that Scottie Barnes, who is all-star-caliber player in this league, he goes every single time to the rim with force and trying to get to the rim without flopping and not trying to get foul calls, he gets two free throws for a whole game?” Rajakovic asked, while slapping the table repeatedly for emphasis.
“How is that possible? How are you going to explain that to me?”
It appears as though Tuesday’s blow-up has been building for quite some time for the first-year Raptors coach.
“It’s happening a lot, but I’m telling our guys, be professional, keep fighting, keep going for the next one,” he said.
“But until when? For how long?”
After the game, veteran forward Thaddeus Young was asked about his coach’s impassioned press conference and he backed his coach.
“It just says that he’s all for us as a family, as a team,” he said. “We’re always going to stick together. We’re always going to be behind one another as a family, as a team. We’re always going to stick together, and he’s always been behind us since Day One coming in here. We love Darko to death. We think the world of Coach, and we definitely appreciate him going to bat for us.”
*With files from the Associated Press
© 2024 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.