New Orleans Pelicans VP of Basketball Operations David Griffin spoke out in criticism of NBA officiating with regard to his franchise centerpiece, Zion Williamson. As one can probably imagine, the NBA wasn’t having it.
Griffin was fined $50,000 by the Association on Sunday “for public criticism of the officiating and comments detrimental to the NBA.”
The NBA has fined Pelicans VP of basketball ops. David Griffin $50,000 for publicly criticizing officiating of Zion Williamson.
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) May 9, 2021
It’s somewhat understandable that David Griffin would be upset. After all, his star player suffered a broken ring finger and is now out indefinitely.
Griffin went public on Friday with the assertation that he believed this injury was “avoidable”.
He said a whole lot more too, most of which is summarized in the Tweet from Ben Golliver below:
Pelicans' David Griffin blames officiating for Zion Williamson's broken finger: "He’s injured now because of the open season there’s been on Zion Williamson in the paint… There’s more violence encouraged in the paint against Zion Williamson than any player I’ve seen since Shaq" pic.twitter.com/7rYQ7A1mfR
— Ben Golliver (@BenGolliver) May 7, 2021
Well, speak out against the almighty NBA and you’re bound to get hit with a nice fine of some sort. That’s exactly what the Pelicans front office executive received today.
The NBA announced that David Griffin has been fined $50,000 for public criticism of officiating pic.twitter.com/u2EJyz3821
— Will Guillory (@WillGuillory) May 9, 2021
Funny thing is, David Griffin isn’t even the first one to complain about how Zion Williamson is officiated.
In addition to a clip of Griffin’s comments from Friday, Pelicans head coach Stan Van Gundy can also be seen below making similar remarks at a presser back on April 28th.
Found these two clips interesting on how the refs and players have treated Zion
– First clip is SVG postgame after the Denver loss on April 28th
– Second clip is from David Griffin’s presser today pic.twitter.com/1C15wa9rUo
— Louis Prejean (@LouisPrejean) May 7, 2021
I mean, try watching a Pelicans game and you’ll see what they’re talking about.
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Heck, even Skip Bayless agrees on the “absolutely mauled” part!
I agree with Pels GM David Griffin. Zion gets "absolutely mauled" without nearly enough fouls being called. Zion never complains to refs. Luka complains every single time. Maybe Zion should start making it harder on refs to ignore when he's obviously fouled.
— Skip Bayless (@RealSkipBayless) May 7, 2021
I never thought I’d say this but Skip Bayless actually sent out a Tweet that is spot-on accurate!
This isn’t exactly good timing for Zion Williamson to go down either. The Pelicans are trying to run down the San Antonio Spurs for the final spot in the Western Conference play-in tournament.
Now, they’ll be forced to try and do so without their franchise centerpiece.
Breaking: Zion Williamson is out indefinitely with a fractured left ring finger, the team announced on Friday. pic.twitter.com/wMME8sdypV
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) May 7, 2021
Honestly, if the officiating of Williamson changes even slightly when he does return to the court, I’m sure David Griffin will declare it $50K well-spent.