“What Is This, North Korea?”: Fans Pour in Support to Anthony Edwards As Criticizing NBA Referees Leads to $40,000 Fine

Published 01/31/2024, 1:22 PM EST

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USA Today via Reuters

Anthony Edwards, the Minnesota Timberwolves’ rising star, did not hold back in expressing his frustration with NBA officials following his team’s hard-fought 107-101 victory against the Oklahoma City Thunder. ANT, known for his explosive playing style and blunt attitude, criticized what he saw as unfair refereeing throughout his heated encounter.

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The broadcast captured Edwards impatiently shouting “cheating ass refs” while celebrating the close victory, and he went on to ramble about his frustrations during a post-game interview. In an honest remark, he said, “I don’t know how we got it done. I’m gonna take the fine because the refs did not give us no calls tonight. We had to play through every bump, every grab.”

Due to these comments of his, the NBA has fined Edwards $40,000 for publically criticizing the officiating.

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However, looking at this, the fans were quick to take ANT’s side with one fan criticizing the league and saying,

Another fan questioned the level of free speech that the player is allowed to express his frustrations.

One fan made a very valid point about the rules and regulations of the league and asked for accountability from officials as well.

One fan even came in support of Anthony Ewards and said,

Another fan thought Edwards was completely right to voice his distress and said,

So, as the league struggles to strike a balance between players’ freedom of speech and respect for officials, Edwards’ blunt remarks create a big stir in the 2023-2024 NBA season. However, this is not the first time that someone has been fined due to an official.

NBA imposes fines on coaches and players for arguing with officials

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The NBA has imposed substantial penalties on Sacramento Kings coach Mike Brown and Los Angeles Clippers player Paul George for their public criticism of NBA officials. Brown was fined $50,000 for aggressively approaching a referee during a game against Milwaukee and then using a laptop to criticize officiating in a post-game press conference. Meanwhile, George earned a $35,000 fine for openly criticizing officials during the Clippers’ defeat against the Denver Nuggets, expressing his dissatisfaction with the apparent lack of foul calls in his favor.

Due to George having a history of public criticism, the NBA determined his fine based on those grounds. However, both these incidences contribute to the continuing discussion over NBA officiating and the consequences that players and coaches face for expressing their views.

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So, do you think the NBA should fine the players and coaches for voicing their distress? Let us know in the comments below.

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Written by:

Dhruv Shastry

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Edited by:

Ruth John

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