The NBA fined Nets’ assistant coach David Vanterpool and the organization on Thursday for an in-game interference incident during Wednesday’s win over the Washington Wizards.
Vanterpool was fined $10,000 and the Nets were fined $25,000 for the assistant coach “interfering with live play by reaching across the sideline and deflecting an opponent’s pass,” the NBA said in a release. Vanterpool is in his first year as an assistant coach with the Nets.
The play in question occurred with 5:45 left in the fourth quarter as Spencer Dinwiddie went to pass the ball to Kyle Kuzma in the corner. David Vanterpool stuck his hand out and deflected the pass away, which led to an eventual turnover.
— NBC Sports Wizards (@NBCSWizards) January 20, 2022
The refs didn’t see the incident occur and Crew Chief Ben Taylor said postgame that they had no recourse to review the play.
Under the rules laid out by the league rulebook: “If the ball is interfered with by an opponent seated on the bench or standing on the sideline (Rule 12A—Section II—a(7)), it shall be awarded to the offended team out-of-bounds nearest the spot of the violation.”
Washington was furious about the missed call after the Nets took the nail-bitter of a game.
“You asked me if he may have touched (the ball). There’s no may have, he did,” Washington coach Joe Blair said after the game. “My reaction was utter disbelief. I’ve never seen in my very long time in basketball something happen like that, that the referees didn’t see. Nobody is perfect and mistakes will be made, I get that, but I think in a game like this with the bench conduct being a point of emphasis this year, it’s very hard to swallow them missing something like that.”
Blair wasn’t the only one irritated by the incident. Kuzma was visibly frustrated after the Nets win.
“That was also horses–t too,” he said. “Coaches should not be able to stand up. I get it if it’s under two minutes. Everybody in the league stands up, but I felt like it was 3:50 on the clock you standing up. You’ve got Steve Nash blocking the ref’s view. He can’t see s–t. … I don’t know what else to say. It’s very unfortunate, but you’ve just got to live with it.”