David Griffin, the New Orleans Pelicans’ executive vice president of basketball operations, received a $50,000 fine from the NBA on Sunday for criticizing league officials.
Griffin’s biting commentary came in the aftermath of Pelicans superstar Zion Williamson’s recent hand injury (fractured left finger).
“We told the NBA through every means available to us, through sending in film, through speaking to everybody in the officials department … that the way they were officiating Zion was going to get him injured,” Griffin said, according to this ESPN report. “And quite frankly, he’s injured because of the open season that there’s been on Zion Williamson in the paint.
“He has been absolutely mauled in the paint on a regular basis to the point that other players have said to him, ‘I’m going to keep doing this to you because they don’t call it.’ There is more violence encouraged in the paint than any player I’ve seen since (Shaquille O’Neal). It was egregious and horrific then, and the same is true now.”
David Griffin’s disgust stems from recent game
What triggered David Griffin’s spirited rant?
Zion Williamson broke his finger in a 108-103 victory over the Golden State Warriors on Tuesday.
Meanwhile, the Pelicans (31-37) are vying for a spot in the NBA play-in tournament. Teams that finish seventh through 10th in the conference standings will meet in the play-in tourney. Through Sunday, they are in 11th place in the Western Conference, with four regular-season games remaining. The San Antonio Spurs (32-35) are 10th.
David Griffin selected Zion Williamson with the top pick in the 2019 NBA Draft.