The following has been released by the NBA. pic.twitter.com/c6SX4oKTsy— NBA Communications (@NBAPR) January 11, 2024
Rajakovic’s comments came as a result of the Lakers shooting 23 free throws in the fourth quarter of a 132-131 loss for the Raptors. The Raptors, who shot just 13 free throws in the game, shot only two in the fourth quarter.
The rant, which can be seen below, was a scathing critique of the refs from the game.
Raptors HC Darko Rajakovic was heated in the postgame presser, unhappy with the Lakers 23 free throw attempts in the 4Q pic.twitter.com/1xvoXrUM6k— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) January 10, 2024
You can read the full BlazersEdge article with in-depth quotes here.
Rajakovic’s comments included comments on the apparent calls that star players get as opposed to non-stars.
That’s outrageous. What happened tonight, this is completely BS. This is shame. Shame for the referees, shame for the league to allow this. 23 free throws for them? And we get 2 free throws in the fourth quarter. How to play the game.
I understand, respect for All Stars and all that. But we have star players on our team as well. 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 tried to get to the rim without flopping and not trying to get foul calls, he gets two free throws for the whole game. How is that possible? How are you going to explain that to me? They had to win tonight? If that’s the case, just let us know so we don’t show up for the game. Just give them a win. But that was not fair tonight.
The $25,000 fine is roughly in line with other fines for similarly criticizing officials. Most recently, Memphis Grizzlies head coach Taylor Jenkins was fined the same amount for his criticism in November, 2023.